The 2014 and 2015 champions beat Southland Girls’ High School in their semi-final and then lost to first-time champions St Mary’s College last year. The side returns this year and plays Blues winners Aorere College on Friday.
A bit more about them below.
School: Hamilton Girls’ High School
2018 Squad list:
1. Chyann Kaitapu, 2. Hunter Randle, 3. Vici-Rose Green, 4. Veisinia Fakalelu, 5. Lataina Moeakiola, 6. Destiny Ieremia, 7. Nyesha Hamilton, 8. Mele ‘Ahokava, 9. Montessa Tairakena, 10 Kiriana Nolan, 11. Lela Ieremia, 12. Manaia Nuku, 13. Jazmin Hotham, 14. Shae Daley, 15. Dawn Hohua, 16. Anahera Campbell, 17. Alison Mills, 18. Whetu Nuku, 19. Reese Anderson, 20. Rayarn Tamati, 21. Milania Cairns, 22. ‘Ilaisaane ‘Ahokava, 23. Renee Cook, Lonita Ngalu (unable to attend the tournament)
Shane Sun (Head Coach), Craig Scrimgeour (Assistant Coach, TIC Rugby)
Played 13. Won 13. 858 point for and 35 points against.
Top try scorers: Dawn Hohua (back) = 23 tries; Shae Daley (back) = 17 tries; Jazmin Hotham (back) = 12 tries; Lele Ieremia (back) = 11 tries; Montessa Tairakena (back) = 11 tries; Mele ‘Ahokava (forward) = 11 tries; Whetu Nuku (forward) = 9 tries; Chyann Kaitapu (forward) = 8 tries; Vici-Rose Green (forward) = 7 tries
Top 4 record:
2018 Representative players:
Waikato NPC squad: - Nyesha Hamilton, Lonita Ngalu
NZ Under 18 Girls 7s- Montessa Tairakena, Jazmin Hotham
Waikato Under 18 Girls- Hunter-Lily Randle, Kiriana Nolan, Manaia Nuku, Montessa Tairakena, Whetu Nuku, Vici-Rose Green, Chyann Kaitapu, Destiny Iraia, Milania Cairns, Jazmin Hotham
What it is going to take to win this year’s tournament?
Heading into Top 4 we will be sure to treat Friday’s game like it’s the final. We must be switched on both physically and mentally in order to put on a peak performance. By trusting in our systems and recovery procedures that have been drilled all season it will help to get us through the tough two-day tournament. Many players have previously experienced this tournament so will be utilised to lead within the team as they are well aware of the challenges that we will face.
What local competitions has your school team played in this year and how did your team go?
We competed in the Vanessa Coutts Cup-Waikato secondary schools competition, which we won. Many of our senior players were a part of women's club rugby teams (Hamilton Old Boys and Melville). Both teams were in the Waikato women’s club final, as well as the Battle of the Kaimais.
How did you qualify for this year’s top 4 tournament you qualified for the Top 4 tournament?
Winning the Vanessa Cotts Cup secured us a position in the Chiefs Cup semi-final. We travelled up to Counties to take on Wesley College. This was a very physical game from both sides, and we won 58-10. In the Chiefs Cup Final/ Top 4 Qualifier we faced Rotorua Girls’ High School, winning 56-5.
What has been a season highlight so far?
With a lot of behind scenes work, we were fortunate enough to play our Chiefs Cup Final/ Top 4 Qualifier at the Waikato FMG stadium. This was a very special opportunity because for many of our team it was the first time playing in a stadium as well as it was the very last home game for our senior players. We had many HGHS students and teachers come and support along with many friends and family. It was an amazing feeling knowing that we were playing on the same field that the All Blacks/ Black Ferns have stepped foot on.
Does your team have a motto or a philosophy that it comes together under?
“No matter if we are ahead or behind we always have our sister’s backs”
We have the philosophy of understanding the importance of the players that have worn the jersey before us and then wanting to create our own legacy within the jersey. Through learning about the values of our school crest, we are continuously connected to our school whenever we wear our rugby uniform. Off the field we all like to pretend we are Beyonce, singing and dancing together, however “boots on, means switch on,” as we prepare to go to war with our sisters.
Are there individuals in your team successful in other sports?
New Zealand Touch - Kiriana Nolan
New Zealand U18 7s - Montessa Tairakena and Jazmin Hotham
NZ League - Whetu Nuku
What other support has your team received to get to allow it to operate at the level it does?
A huge THANK YOU to our management team that have continuously put so much time and effort in to make our team run as it does. The Waikato Rugby Union and Waikato regional coaches (shout out to Wayne Maxwell) have provided heaps of help coming to trainings and organising amazing opportunities such as playing on the stadium.
Lastly, thank you to all of our parents/ HGHS whanau that have supported us near and far and pushed us to always want to be the very best we can. We most definitely would not be the team we are without the constant support of all these people!!
Who are some of HGHS’s past players, now playing to a higher level?
Black Ferns 7s - Tenika Willison, Terina Te Tamaki, Shiray Kaka
Black Ferns 15s - Ariana Bayler
Farah Palmer Cup - Stacey Littleworth, Lena Mitchell, Kennedy Simon, Nyesha Hamilton, Ariana Bayler, Lonita Ngalu, Kanyon Paul, Danielle Paenga, Makaia Te Kanawa, Awa Whitiora, Calista Wihone
College Sport Media is dedicated to telling the story of successful young sportspeople in New Zealand