The girls division of the national secondary school rugby Condor 7s continues to go from strength to strength. This year’s fifth edition of a girls section of the tournament promises to be super-competitive and as hard fought as ever.
So far just two schools, Feilding High School (2011 and 2012) and Hamilton Girls’ High School (2013 and 2014) have annexed the girls Condor 7s title.
Amongst the contenders tipped to be in the hunt in 2015 is Southland Girls’ High School, who finished runners-up last year to Hamilton GHS.
Southland’s Head Coach, Nathan Muir, told College Sport Media that his side will be heading to Auckland confident of putting their best foot forward again.
“We also won the Plate in 2013 and were beaten semi-finalists in 2012, so we know what to expect at the Condors. We certainly want to be at the business end of the tournament again this year.”
“Every year everyone else gets better, and that is always at the back of your mind. You can’t just rest on what you did last year,” he added.
Southland GHS qualified from their region for the tournament without taking the field. “No one wanted to play us this year so we qualified by default.”
Instead the team’s been training hard and recently been playing practice matches against senior women’s teams, to hone their match fitness and game plan. “We also played in a South Island girls’ rugby festival in Oamaru in late July and won the Sevens section of that.”
There’s also a successful fifteens season under their hood. As South Island winners - beating Motueka High School 60-5 in the final - Southland travelled to Palmerston North in early September and finished runners-up to Hamilton (5-27) at the National Top 4 girls tournament after beating Feilding High School (20-10) in their semi-final match.
Nathan said all members of the sevens team are transferring their skills from their fifteens side. “We have got three injuries, so we have got a few rookies. But’s a good mix of girls that have been there before and we’ve got a balance of ages in our squad with every year level from Year 10 to 13.”
As is the case with many girls’ teams in particular at the Condor 7s finals, Southland’s side will include several players who have represented the school to a high level in other sports such as football, netball and touch rugby.
“We’ve got a number of talented players,” explained Nathan, “but if we are successful in Auckland next month it’ll be the result of a team effort. We see it as a team game and we continue to play that way.” The team’s captain is Trisha Hopcroft and the vice-captains are Alena Saili and Kendall Buckingham.
The Southland Girls’ High School squad heading to the Condor 7s is:
Trisha Hopcroft, Alena Saili. Kendall Buckingham, Lauren Brown, Meg Paterson, Laura Molloy, Kayla Brocks, Arnika Thompson-Te Muunu, Molly Wheeley, Amy du Plessis, Bree Thomas, Sipa Saili. Support staff: Head Coach: Nathan Muir; Assistant Coach: Maima Afutu; Manager: Nicola Hawkes
The confirmed girls’ schools taking part in the 2015 Condor 7s (as of Monday) are:
Bay of Islands College, Christchurch Girls’ High School, Feilding High School, Hamilton Girls’ High School, Kaipara College, Long Bay College, Motueka High School, New Plymouth Girls’ High School, Otahuhu College, St Hilda’s Collegiate School, St Mary’s College, St Peter’s College Gore, Southland Girls’ High School, Te Puke High School.
The pools draws (girls and boys)for the Condor 7s will be announced soon
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