The team that has to travel the shortest distance to the Sport and Rugby Institute on Friday and Sunday will also be making their first appearance there. Local school Manukura will be representing the Hurricanes region in the girls competition at the Top 4 tournament.
Squad list: 1. Hinewai Netana-Williams, 2, Season Blackburn-Kingi, 3. Jannali Ruawai, 4. Madison Hodgon, 5. Mia Waiariki, 6. Jasmine O’Connell, 7. Izzy Rewiri-Wharerau, 8. Phoenix Huriwai, 9. Lucy Brown, 10. Kalyn Takitimu-Cook, 11. Deli Taylor, 12. Kaia-Hayes Walker-Waitoa, 13. Paris Paul, 14. Plum King, 15, Carys Dallinger, 16, Kataraina Kelly, 17. Ariana Taylor, 18. Ngakura Ponga, 19. Leiana Marshall-Barton, 20. Selena Williams-Paap. ALSO Nicola Chase – playing in the LNISS MANUKURA netball team this week; Jannali Ruawai - Attending Basketball regional tournament at the start of this week and returning return to rugby.
Coaching staff: Kristina Sue, Rhiarna Ferris, Potene Paewai, Fiona Chase (manager)
Captains: Lucy Brown (c) , Mia Waiariki (vc)
Top 4 record: First time qualifying for Top 4. Only established a girls rugby team in 2014. Qualified for the Condor sevens in 2017 and 2018.
2018 Representative players: Lucy Brown (Manawatu Cyclones), Kalyn Takitimu-Cook – (Manawatu Cyclones and NZU18 7s), Carys Dalinger (Manawatu Cyclones and NZU18 7s), Nicola Chase (Manawatu Cyclones), Season Blackburn-Kingi (Taranaki U18s)
What is it going to take for your school to do well in the Top 4 tournament?
We have a good mixture of experienced and new players in the squad. We have a core group of players who have played women’s club rugby this year and tasted victory for Feilding Old Boys Oroua v Kia Toa in the final, and have had experience at a higher level. Preparation is key, with clarity on roles, responsibilities and a growth mindset in the players as individuals and as a collective to believe they can compete, perform and never give up. Management also need to a game plan that is going to manage workloads including recovery, preview and review opposition but mainly focus on what we do well.
What local competitions has your school team played in this year?
We won the local MSS competition.
How did you qualify for the Top 4 tournament?
We qualified from our match against St Mary’s College (Wellington) at Awatapu College on Saturday 25th August. It was a match that could have gone either way and we were fortunate to take the victory [38-33].
What has been a season highlight so far?
Manukura has won the Rex Kerr Cup in becoming Hurricanes Girls champions for 2018. Following a narrow 17-14 Semi-Final victory over Feilding High School, Manukura were able to withstand the pressure created by the defending Hurricanes [and national champions] champions, St. Mary's College, to come out eventual winners.
Does your team have a motto or saying or philosophy that it comes together under?
“Protect the line like it’s your family”
“No one outworks us”
“Play like your lover’s watching”
Our special person is eight-year-old Poppy Mulligan who loves rugby and is the teams ball girl. The Manukura girls inspire her to play rugby. Ultimately, our philosophy is about rugby being more than a game. If we perform and get results that is a bonus. it’s also about the girls developing a sisterhood, bond, rugby skills/knowledge and life skills that they can use in the future beyond rugby. And also about exposing them to many memorable experiences and opportunities.
Are there individuals in your team successful in other sports?
Selena Williams-Paap - New Zealand touch representative.
Jannali Ruawai - Manawatu basketball
Kalyn and Carys - New Zealand U18 7s players
Nicola Chase - U19 Netball, Manawatu Athletics shot put champion.
Tell us about your team’s support?
We have received support from MANUKURA staff/coaches, physios, Manawatu Cyclones rugby team, FOBOS rugby team and most of all parents of players in the team and the support within our team has pushed us to operate as well as we do together as family.
Watch a good luck video prepared for Manukura's players before their Hurricanes final against St Mary's:
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