The Hawke's Bay Tuis women's rugby team will take on Otago in Saturday's Farah Palmer Cup Championship semifinal in Dunedin.

The Big Barrel Tuis were beaten 22-10 by Manawatu in their sixth round crossover match in Palmerston North today. The Tuis needed two competition points from this clash to earn a home semifinal.

"It was 10-all at halftime and with 20 minutes to go. Then Manawatu scored a try and another one from the kick off. Considering we had four key starters unavailable the girls stayed in the fight well," Tuis head coach Steve Woods said.

He was referring to Black Ferns first five-eighth Krysten Cottrell, lock Hanna Brough and loosies Gemma Woods and Kathleen Brown who were on the injured list. Regular winger Lara Kendrick played lock and combined well with Rebekah Hurae in the engine room.


Flankers Laurae Blake and Niamh Jefferson had high defensive workrates while winger Felicity Powdrell defended well and made the most of her opportunities on attack. Prop Natalie Cotton scored the Tuis only try and former Black Ferns halfback Emma Jensen kicked a conversion and penalty.

Wellington will host North Harbour in the other semifinal this weekend.