Te Maari MacGregor was full of relief as the Te Matau a Maui women's rugby team won their Central Region tournament in Palmerston North at the weekend.
First five-eighth MacGregor missed a last-second conversion which would have given the Hawke's Bay representatives a win in their second game of the tournament against Wellington on Saturday. The match ended in a 24-all draw which resulted in MacGregor and her teammates having to wait for the outcome of the clash between Manawatu and Wellington later in the day to see if they would win the tournament.
"Wellington beat Manawatu 20-12, which meant we won the tournament thanks to our superior 14-point differential against Manawatu," an elated Te Matau a Maui coach Tom Blake said.
Shaylee Tipiwai scored two tries against Wellington and Celeste Cardie and Chanel Huddleston one each. Former Black Fern Amy Williams kicked two conversions.
Tipiwai impressed at halfback and centre while Williams provided quality impact as a substitute fullback in the second half. Captain and No8 Huddleston, blindside flanker Amy Pedman and Diane Hepi, who had stints at prop and hooker, had huge work rates.
Tipiwai, MacGregor, Pedman, Cardie, Hepi, Kathryn Marshall, Jamie Heather, Kataraina Clarke, Maia Wati-Cooper, Kaylah Clarke-Winiata and Yarnisae Whaitiri were named in the Blake-coached Te Tini a Maui (Central Region) side to play Te Wai Pounamu this weekend.
Te Matau a Maui men finished third courtesy of their 43-34 win over Poverty Bay on Saturday. Manager Jon Matthews said the victory was a big improvement on Friday's 60-20 loss to Manawatu.
Prop Brendon Edmonds and No8 Everard Reid were prominent in the pack while first five-eighth Levi Armstrong and second five eighth Ihaka Waerea were constructive.
Manihera Eden and Jade Chrystal scored two tries each for Te Matau a Maui and Edmonds and Campbell Johnson one each. Eden kicked five conversions and a penalty.
Waerea, Eden, Reid, Edmonds and Matt Mullany were named in the Te Tini a Maui side to play Te Wai Pounamu this weekend.