Stoke women prove dominant in first round
Story by: - Photo by: Chris Symes
The sun came out for what proved to be a fun afternoon of sevens, the first in a four-round women's competition, and although the atmosphere was light-hearted, some the action was like lightning.
Stoke were the most impressive team as they boasted New Zealand women's sevens international Moana Forbes, fresh from winning the 2012 Oceania Women's Sevens Championship.
Forbes was an obvious standout but most of the Stoke team were able to get over the line, with Jodi Hikuroa, who normally pairs with Forbes on the netball court, showing her natural sevens skills in her first game.
Their coach Cyril Collier had them practising hard before the game and their attitude was matched by their performance. Stoke had clearly been putting in the hard yards at training and this showed in the scores they posted - over three games their aggregate score was 135-5.
Marist, who are known for their very strong forward pack in the XVs game, showed they can also turn their hands to sevens. Marist recorded two strong victories but their match with Stoke never became a real contest as an injury reduced the side to just six players.
Waimea Old Boys only managed to retain three girls from their 2012 winning team, bringing back the speedy Gemma Milne to help out after she had taken a year off rugby. Kori Armiento, who is visiting from the United States, also helped make up numbers and showed enterprising play to score a number of tries. WOB took one win on the day, beating Nayland College.
The Nayland College girls, coached by Francis Kara, were first timers to rugby sevens and competed well in the women's grade. With part of their team being made up of German exchange students, there were also some magic moments in the Nayland side.
Even though they made a point of apologising to the opposition player after making a tackle, the Germans picked up the game quickly and by the third game Nayland were holding their own and despite not winning a match, they were the only side to score against Stoke.
Match results: WOB 25 Nayland College 0, Marist 36 Nayland College 5, Marist 35 WOB 5, Stoke 43 Marist 0, Stoke 48 WOB 0, Stoke 44 Nayland 5.