U16 Rugby Girls

Mercy Lui 9C1, Brooke Poaru 9A1, Emily Ruzanji – leader 9C1, Fili Toa-Viserio – leader 10B1,

Terissa Masoe 9A2,   Lina Farrugia 9C1, Cathy Ioane Blake  – Captain, 10C1 Faith Mulu Jessop 9C2 &  Shalome Matangi 9C1


Two years in the making… finally we had the numbers (just) for our long suffering u16 girls to play … … Amadeus our VET work experience placement was the main contributor and coach who did a really good job working with our players…he earned their respect through taking them in practice and on game day ….giving them meaningful feedback and drills to improve their game…

Our gutsy u16 team was led by Captain Cathy Ioane Blake, Fili Toa- Viserio and Emily Ruzani. We played Sunshine College, Tairnet P -9 College and St Albans College. We won their first game and ended up coming 4th in the Western region. In a similar fashion to our u14s the opposition tended to be bigger, physically powerful and have plenty of fresh reserves. A bit nervous at first our young woman soon choose to step up and give it a real crack. Our team had to show a lot of guts as the second and third games were tough… and they did pull together…as we do…they kept tackling and trying till the very end of each game… and although fitness was a weakness in our game our young woman kept trying… kept turning up…attempting to stop the opposition scoring a try here… tackling wave after wave there…and still trying … with the opposition screaming in their ears when they scored… our u16 young woman did us proud even going down to 6 players on the field… They represented themselves, their families and our school with dignity and heart…those are some of the memories I have of our young woman… tumeke tamariki ma…well done… fitness can develop…technique can be taught but heart that was a decision our u16s made today… and heart shows when it is tough… well done…character is earnt.    For the record: Captain Cathy led her girls well on and off the field…encouraging them and as the day progressed keeping the girls happy… she improved in her running and passing as the day progressed….which was great to see. Keep it up. Fii showed plenty of skill with the ball… she easily was able to move around the opposition and tackle strongly … she also showed plenty of bravery…for example Fili was hit by the biggest player in the opposition and after a moment… got herself up… dusted herself off and when I asked her…. She said “Its ok I am fine”… tough and smart … Emily Ruzanji (leadership group) was also good with ball in hand and showed plenty of poise on the field…and with the help of her mates she worked on her tackle to the point that in the final game she was able to make better tackles… good work…Our surprise package was Mercy Lui who was really into it… she listened to her coaches and even when she was tired she wanted to stay on….Mercy tackled well and showed plenty of guts… never taking a backward step to the might of the opposition…well done… Brooke Poaru was another player to play powerfully in the middle of the field amongst the big opposition…running hard and tackling just as hard… both Mercy and Brooke were able to step up when their team needed them … Terissa Masoe the third of our ‘Defenders of the front line’…was good on defence as she ripped into them…and she was also good on attack…she showed good foot work and good hand eye coordination… moving gracefully through the opposition with ball in hand… Terissa use that talent… Lina Farrugia agreed to play for us on Monday… where others didn’t… she was willing to help us out and support the Kaupapa (what we were doing)…literally sacrificing her beautiful nails to play (she cut them)… Lina as always gave 110% …with great determination… for example at one stage the opposition got a runaway try… Lina chased the opposition all the way… almost stopping her… thank you for saying yes and playing so well… Faith Mulu Jessop scored a beautiful try and played well in every game… Like Lina she had the courage to say ‘yes’ and support her teammates by  playing… both Lina and Faith helped to make their friends dreams come true so we could have a team…thank you both… unfortunately Faith took a knock late in our final game and we wish her well… Salome Matangi showed commitment by getting her own way to the game…and in the game she ran hard and straight … she was powerful… we appreciated her making that effort to come along and play…like many of the girls who trained last year it was good for Salome to finally have an opportunity to play…ofa atu

Big thank you to Mr Cullum and Mrs Hardham for their support and words of wisdom and encouragement to our young woman… Mr Cullum thank you for getting us to and from the venue safetly.


Kia ora U16 girls you are awesome….you created memories today…

Phil Schwalger