Rotoiti have finished the season on a high, beating local rivals Whakarewarewa 27-22 to win the Trophy division of the women's competition.

The game was played on Saturday at Puarenga Park in what turned out to be a clean sweep for Rotoiti sides as their men's premier and premier development teams picked up wins at the same venue.

The women's teams went blow-for-blow in an 80-minute display of passion and desire and in the end it was Rotoiti coach and first five-eighth Victoria Grant who proved the difference as she scored three tries.

Rotoiti started the game strongly and had the first scoring opportunity as halfback Polly Playle made a blistering break from inside her own half, only to be tackled out metres from the try line.


The next 20 minutes was a real battle for territory before Rotoiti took the upper hand.

They had a scrum inside the Whaka 22 and spread the ball right to Grant who straightened up and shot through a gap to score under the posts.

Whaka hit straight back with a try of their own after receiving consecutive penalties inside the Rotoiti 22.

Halfback Tania-Rose Raharuhi scooped the ball up off the back of a ruck and showed great strength to crash over and score.

Rotoiti regained the lead shortly afterwards when a neat passing play saw winger Oreen Rikiti dive over in the corner.

Rotoiti began to take the initiative, their forwards ran hard and did great work at the breakdown.

They finished the half with another try to Grant, an exact replicate of her first, and led 17-5 at the break.

SPEED: Rotoiti halfback Polly Playle kept defenders on their toes with some strong runs from the back of the ruck. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
SPEED: Rotoiti halfback Polly Playle kept defenders on their toes with some strong runs from the back of the ruck. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

Whaka started the second half strongly and had Rotoiti camped inside their own 22 for a solid 10 minutes.

They were rewarded when they spread the ball left and winger Nadia Flavell scored in the corner to make the score 17-10.

Rotoiti turned things up a notch and once again Grant sent defenders scrambling as she produced some superb footwork to go in for her hatrick.

Whaka hit straight back with a penalty try to make the score 22-17 before Rotoiti extended their lead again through a try to lock Maureen Malcolm.

Despite being 10 points behind with seconds left to play, Whaka showed great desire to finish the season on a high and score on fulltime, which made the score a respectable 27-22.

Grant said she was "really proud" of her players.

"It's always good to play in a local derby and it's an awesome club day for both our clubs.

"To be honest it took us a while to get into the game, but I'm proud of the girls, we had some awesome runs and picked up our defence.

"We've got a real good combination of girls, it's good to see them engaged in sport and loving it, it's a real community thing for us," Grant said.

Ever humble, she credited her three tries to the work put in by the whole team.

"It was easy for me because the girls were running their lines and the holes opened up.

"This season the team has grown - when we first played Whaka we lost, but today I think it really shows how much we've grown."

Whaka coach Ron James said Rotoiti deserved the win.

"They really took it to us.

"We tried our heart out, we had a few people playing out of position and they showed a lot of heart.

"For our first year back in the competition after 18 years it's been awesome, we finished strongly.

"It's been a fairly successful season, we've won four and lost four, but the biggest thing is the culture we've established. They've got each other's backs," James said.

Meanwhile, Waikite travelled to Rangataua hoping to secure a home semi-final with a win.

They started the game with a hiss and a roar and never looked back on their way to a 34-10 win.

Coach Shane Wilson said the win put Waikite in first place and they would play Waimana at home in the semi-final this weekend.

"I was super proud of the girls, they all really put their hands up and played for each other straight from the kick-off.

"We put our good ball runners in holes and our support players ran off them and received passes.

"The kickers kept putting the ball in the corners and kept them in their 22, then just put on the pressure," Wilson said.

He said Luka Connor was the standout player.

"She had a dynamite game, she got about four steals, five or six line breaks, she had a massive game."