Kaitaia College made their debut in the Girl's First XV 2019 competition and made life tough for a slow-starting Whangārei Girls' High School side, eventually losing 22-36.

The trip to Whangārei did not seem to deter the side from the Far North as the forward pack got stuck in at the start and created space out wide for Paikea Skinner who dotted down.

Brydie Harrison was unable to convert the try.

A good crowd turned out to support the teams.
A good crowd turned out to support the teams.

But it wasn't log before Skinner got on the board again as she was able to dart over from a strong pick and go sequence from her forward pack.

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Harrison's kick just went wide of the posts.

The early scoring spree by the visitors kicked the home side into action with the forwards carrying the ball with a bit more purpose and footwork.

Whangārei Girls' vs Kaitaia College on Whangarei Boys' High rugby ground.
Whangārei Girls' vs Kaitaia College on Whangarei Boys' High rugby ground.

The lethal backline, commanded by Tara Turner, spun the ball wide to Mia Turner who was able to beat her defender and score. Tara Turner converted to give Whangārei Girls' some momentum.

Tara Turner was able to claim her own try, a quick dart from the ruck before going over in the tackle of Harrison.

Although unable to convert, Whangārei Girls went into the break with a narrow lead at 12-10.

Whangārei Girls' High School teacher Jenni Moors, centre watches her team from the sidelines.
Whangārei Girls' High School teacher Jenni Moors, centre watches her team from the sidelines.

Whatever was said at halftime by the coaching team saw Whangarei Girls' came out with a bang in the second half with Leilani FIlipi crashing over for two tries along with centre Paige Turner, all in the space of 15 minutes.

With a comfortable 31-10 lead, the pressure was still on with the Whangārei side having to work hard to defend their lead as Kaitaia College gained their second wind and pushed hard, earning Skinner the first hat-trick in 2019 for the competition and the school.

Kaitaia's winger Paikea Skinner looks to fend off Girls High centre Paea Uilou.
Kaitaia's winger Paikea Skinner looks to fend off Girls High centre Paea Uilou.

Harrison was able this time able to add the extra two points to close the gap.

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The sniff of a comeback was extinguished when industrious blindside Ohawini Kingi was able to secure a try for the forwards after yet another strong sequence.

Kaitaia College never stopped attacking and right at the death Harrison was able to get a try to cap off a strong game.

Kaitaia's halfback Hall is chased down by Girls High centre Paea Uilou.
Kaitaia's halfback Hall is chased down by Girls High centre Paea Uilou.

The final score was Whangārei Girls' High School 36, Kaitaia College 22.

Next week will see Kerikeri High School head to Kaitaia College to close out the competition.

Kaitaia number ten Eliza Marsden looks to outpace Girls High player Ohawini Kingi.
Kaitaia number ten Eliza Marsden looks to outpace Girls High player Ohawini Kingi.

Photos/ John Stone