Semifinal rugby awaits Whakarewarewa and Waikite after they beat Rotoiti and Waimana respectively in the first round of Baywide Premier women's knockout matches.

Rangataua and Rangiuru finished first and second in the round-robin to earn a week off and a direct route to the semifinals.

Next weekend Rangataua host Waikite and Rangiuru host Whakarewarewa, in what should be two fascinating match-ups, for a place in the grand final.

Yesterday, at Puarenga Park, Whakarewarewa had some nervy moments against local rivals Rotoiti, but always looked in control on their way to a 38-7 victory.

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The heavens opened just before kickoff and the wet and slippery conditions tested the handling skills of both sets of players. It was a stop-start opening to the game as both teams got used to the conditions.

Twenty minutes in, on the back of consecutive penalties, Whakarewarewa worked their way into the Rotoiti 22m. After several phases it was prop Christine Corbett who opened the scoring, steamrolling her way over the tryline under the posts.

The game was hard fought in the middle of the field, with both sides enjoying spells of possession. In such situations it is often errors that make the difference, as was the case when Whakarewarewa first five Terina Mohi pounced on a loose pass from Rotoiti in their own 22m and raced away to score.

Whakarewarewa centre Teiria Sandle looks to slip out of a tackle against Rotoiti. Photo/Stephen Parker
Whakarewarewa centre Teiria Sandle looks to slip out of a tackle against Rotoiti. Photo/Stephen Parker

Having showed her pace for her first try, Mohi had a second try shortly before halftime and this time it was through pure strength as she spun out of a tackle to score. Whakarewarewa led 21-0 at halftime.

Rotoiti gave themselves a shot at a comeback when they scored early in the second half. A kick was put through the Whakarewarewa defensive line and Rotoiti centre Sylvia Tudoc showed desperation to chase through and plant the ball. The try was converted and the deficit reduced to 21-7.

Unfortunately for Rotoiti, that wase the last time they troubled the scorers.

Whakarewarewa extended their lead to 33-7 when second five Tania-Rose Raharuhi and lock Renee Fletcher crossed the try line in quick succession.

With minutes left to play, Whakarewarewa fullback Nadia Flavell put the cherry on top with a well worked try on the left-hand side, sealing a 38-7 win and an away trip to Rangiuru next week.

Whakarewarewa coach Ron James said his side had a slow start, but came right in the end.

"Our set piece wasn't working too well, we had a few girls show up late. The girls just needed to understand where the space was, they kept trying to cut back and be confrontational with them. Once they started doing that we cut loose a bit."

He said making the semifinals was "huge" for the team and the club as a whole.

"Even today they were really excited, just to be playing in a quarter-final and now knowing that next week there's another game. We had two teams there in that situation and at least we've got one through, which is great," James said.

Despite the season being over for Rotoiti, coach Victoria Grant was full of pride for what her team had achieved.

"It was a tough game today, in tough conditions, but I'm just proud of how the girls have progressed throughout the year, in the bigger picture. Every game they have improved and in patches we play some really good rugby.

"It was a successful season and these girls will stick together going into next year, we'll really focus on our pre-season and fitness. It's cool just having girls trying a new sport and playing in new positions, having that opportunity. It's all about growing their confidence.

"We're really proud of Whaka and how far they've come as well. They're a good group of girls and we're really happy for them and Waikite to be representing Central Bay of Plenty in the semifinals."

Baywide Premier Women's Results
Waikite 20 Waimana 14
Whakarewarewa 38 Rotoiti 7

Baywide Premier Women's Semi Finals Draw
Rangataua v Waikite at Rangataua
Rangiuru v Whakarewarewa at Rangiuru