This year is the fifth edition of the Girls Top 4 rugby competition in Palmerston North. Testament to the current growth in the girls’ game, two new teams will be represented for the first time – St Mary’s College (Hurricanes) and Kaipara College (Blues).
Like the boys and co-ed tournaments down the road at Massey University, the girls competition at CET Arena, is played over two days. On Friday, Kaipara College plays last year’s beaten finalists Southland Girls’ High School in one semi-final and defending champions Hamilton Girls’ High School and St Mary’s meet in the other.
The teams return on Sunday with the winners from day one playing in the final and the losers meeting in a third and fourth placed playoff matchKaipara College won the North Harbour 10-a-side Championship for the third successive year, beating a combined Glenfield/Hato Petera combination 42-10 in the final, extending their undefeated run to 28 games.
This achievement meant Kaipara was able to challenge the best in Auckland for a chance to represent the Blues Region this weekend. Last Friday they travelled to Southern Cross Campus to take on the reigning Auckland Champions.
The match was a tight affair, with Southern Cross starting strongly and scoring the first try to lead 5-0. Kaipara then battled back against the wind, gaining field position to equalise, before working the ball wide to create the try to take the lead 10-5. The offensive highlight of the first half was when Anna Steele pounced on a loose ball from a Southern Cross knock-on, to run 65 metres to score under the posts. This try was converted by Sophie Fisher to make the score 17-5. It then required a great deal of tenacious defence by Kaipara to hold out against the much bigger Southern Cross team. Despite them scoring two more tries, Kaipara was able to hold on for a narrow, but well-deserved 17-15 victory.
Coach Callum Finlay acknowledged that this is a fantastic result for the girls and it is a huge honour to be the first North Harbour secondary school to ever qualify for the four 4 Tournament. This achievement is a reflection of all the hard work and commitment the girls have put in over the past two years.
Kaipara’s team has several up and coming players, with North Harbour Women’s NPC wing and co-captain Rina Paraone key amongst them.
The Kaipara College squad is:
Madi Wells (co-captain), Rina Paraone(Co-captain), Sativa Tarau-Peehikuru(co-Captain), Malia Hemehema, Jazelle Hemehema, Anna Steele, Carissa Mansell-Sawyers, Zoe Mansell-Sawyers, Georgia Logan, Caitlyn Cox, Lauryn Rhind, Sydney Topine, Sophie Fisher, Aleiscia Phillips, Jamie Allen, Ngahuia Pike, Hailey Beale and Merenia Paraone.
Top 4 Girls schedule at CET Arena, Palmerston North
Friday 2 September:
12.00pm Kaipara College vs. Southland Girls’ High School
2.00pm Hamilton Girls’ High School vs. St Mary’s College
Sunday 4 September 2016
10.00am Play-off for 3rd and 4th
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