Rugby: Success despite changes

By Shane Hurndell

Consolidating back-up plans was the approach Napier Technical premier women's rugby coach Arthur Brown took into their match against Linton in Palmerston North on Saturday.

But that didn't stop the Hawke's Bay champions winning the combined Hawke's Bay-Manawatu competition clash 34-21. "We were never going to win this competition because of the game we defaulted so this match was a good opportunity to experiment and try players in different positions in case we have injuries in the Hawke's Bay competition's second round," Brown explained.

Regular openside flanker Kaylah Clarke-Winiata, who can also play halfback, did a commendable job at fullback. Regular halfback Gemma Woods operated well at first five-eighth and another of Brown's flankers Laurae Blake performed admirably at halfback.

Captain and No8 Chanel Huddleston was again inspirational in the Tech pack where lock Stacey Loye impressed with her work rate.

"Considering the changes we made I was more than happy with the speed of our play," Brown added.

Unbeaten competition winners Feilding Old Boys Oroua walloped Napier Pirate Rugby and Sports 66-0 at Feilding. Pirate coach Col Allen said the score wasn't a fair reflection of the match. "Injuries affected our team's effort. But at the same time our girls showed huge courage and I was very proud of them," Allen said.

Hastings Rugby and Sports won their match against Stratford by default.

- Hawkes Bay Today

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