Howick College is a state co-educational secondary school founded in 1974 and located in the eastern Auckland suburb of Cockle Bay. The school has a roll of 2093 students and the motto is Whakamanawahia tētehi hapori o ngā ākonga hihiri - Inspiring a community of passionate learners.
Howick has little history as a rugby programme, but they have made rapid strides in their brief existence in sevens.
Howick first competed in the YouthTown Condor 7s in 2014 - the year girls rugby was introduced at the college. Howick finished runners-up. In 2015, Howick went one better and captured the Under-15 National title. They beat fellow Auckland schools Southern Cross (19-17) and Otahuhu College (19-5) in the semi-final and final and Iva Livani was the Player of the Tournament.
In 2016, Howick competed in the open grade for the first time and made the quarterfinals, losing to Motueka High School (12-17) and going on to win the Plate with wins over Southern Cross (31-5) and Christchurch Girls' High School (5-26).
Howick was third in the recent Auckland qualifier which was sufficient to claim a place at Sacred Heart College in December, with five girls having just returned to the side from the National championship winning netball team.
Howick won netball title in their very first appearance at the tourney. Myia Hetaraka, Iva Livani, Shalom Setu-Veve, Teuila Sotutu and Lasalle Lefale all return to the sevens roster from that event. Remarkably Hetaraka, Livani, Setu-Veve and Sotutu are all Year 12.
Lefale was the triumphant captain of the netball squad while Teuila Sotutu is the daughter of former Fijian rugby international Waisake Sotutu and Livani made the tournament team at the netball nationals.
Howick has a well-balanced team. The rest of the squad is as follows.
Year 13: Natalie Whittaker, Melenia Kaitaiefo, Jennifer-Rose Reu
Year 12: Isla Norman-Bell, Hinemoa Watene
Year 11: Saphire Abraham, Ceyan Drollet
Year 10: Dajian Brown, Tiana-Paige Wetere
Howick is grouped with Long Bay College, Rotorua Girls’ High School and Manukura. Rotorua won the Condor Under-15 National title last year and Manukura are the Manawatu and Hurricanes Youth Council champions so the opposition is stiff.
However, Howick has the size, speed and organisation, despite little time together, to be a genuine title contender.
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