Athleticism is something Rangataua's women's rugby squad is known to have and this season they have an added boost.

Rangataua winger Mariah Ririnui is in her first season playing rugby but her athletic ability is undeniable.

The 26-year-old used to hold the New Zealand women's 100m sprint and long jump titles but is now burning it up on the rugby field.

She says she is enjoying the new challenge and being in a team environment.


"I've been really lucky because I've been training with the Rangataua girls. They are all really supportive. We are a whānau-based club and we just really look out for each other," Ririnui says.

Although Rangataua lost to Rangiuru 29-24 last weekend, assistant coach Jamie Keenleyside has been impressed by Ririnui's performance.

"She's really athletic and always seeking to learn. She's only going to get better with more games under her belt," Keenleyside says.

Ririnui's fastest time for the 100m is a blistering 11.84 seconds but an Achilles injury put a halt to her athletics career and the Ngāi Te Rangi/Ngāti Ranginui descendant says she would love to one day wear the Black Ferns' jersey.

But for now, the 176cm speedster is happy and proud to wear Rangataua colours. On Sunday, Ririnui's team travel to Matatā to take on their premier women's team.

Other match ups in week four of the Baywide Women's Club Rugby competition will see Waimana host Rangiuru at Rugby Park in Whakatāne on Saturday, while Rotoiti travel to Puarenga Park to take on Whakarewarewa and Mount Maunganui have the bye.

All matches kick-off at 1pm.

Meanwhile, in week eight of the men's Farmlands Co-operative Baywide Club Rugby competition Rangiuru travel to Puarenga Park on Saturday to take on a confident Whakarewarewa side.


Whakarewarewa dominated Rotoiti last weekend, coming away with a 55-7 victory.

Rangiuru had a narrow 31-28 win over Arataki, and player coach Tanerau Latimer has plenty of talent to choose from to continue their climb up the competition table including players like Isaac Te Aute, Simon Rolleston and Ngatai Kingi.

"We've got to front up against [Whaka]. Typical Whaka, they like to get stuck in. They're a great challenge. There is no doubt my boys will get up for it," Latimer says.

Other match ups in the men's competition include Te Puna hosting Rangataua at Maramatanga Park, Ōpōtiki are at home against Tauranga Sports, Greerton Marist host Te Teko, Rotoiti travel to Murray Salt Stadium to take on competition leaders Te Puke and Arataki play Mount Maunganui at Arataki Park.

Development matches kick off at 1pm and premier matches at 2.45pm