Rugby: Bockman key to Tech victory

By Shane Hurndell

Napier Technical premier women's rugby first five-eighth Sylvia Bockman is a logmaker by trade.

The job is physical, involves early starts, and correct measurements are a must. Bockman's ability to size up the gaps, take the right options, and direct the defensive line to the right spots were key factors in her side retaining Hawke's Bay's premier title with this victory at Whitmore Park on Saturday.

Bockman, 20, scored 14 points with two tries and two conversions. She converted her first try in the 50th minute to give the hosts a 17-0 lead. Her second try, which she also converted in the 61st minute to give Tech a 24-5 lead, secured the title.

"That second try gave us the confidence to run everything and try and pile on more points. Clive were still in the hunt until then ... they came out hard at us, exactly how we thought they would," Bockman said.

"That was a quality final. Hopefully we can carry on that form for the Hawke's Bay Tuis. We're a lot fitter this season because we've been doing a lot of pre-season work, including strength training," she said.

While Tech scored six tries - winger Alarna McKie also grabbed two and halfback Gemma Woods and centre Davina Winiata added the others - it was the hosts' defensive work which coach Arthur Brown had the most admiration for.

"That won us the game. Everyone stepped up and did their job on defence. That was our best performance of the season and we needed it as Clive played well," Brown said.

Clive had every right to be proud of their first-half effort as they trailed 10-0 at halftime. Veteran second five-eighth Deidre Hakopa was inspirational.

Her try followed a 54-metre run. Hakopa also had a phenomenal defensive workrate.

Clive's No8 Jasmine Tihema was again tireless in a pack where lock Leanne Makea again impressed against more fancied opponents. Promising fullback Holly McDonald and experienced first five-eighth Te Maari MacGregor also shone in the visiting backline.

Tech captain and No.8 Chanel Huddleston praised the work Brown and assistant coach Spencer Bethell put into the winners.

"We worked hard for this. Those training sessions twice a week allowed us to produce the fast running rugby we did for our supporters today."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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