Which is the better region when it comes to women's rugby - Bay of Plenty or Waikato?

This will be decided tomorrow when the Bay's top five qualifying women's club teams play against the Waikato's top five women's club teams at the Tauranga Domain as part of the one-day Battle of the Kaimai Championship.

The tournament, which will see the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union battle it out against their rivals, the Waikato Rugby Union, gets under way at 11.15am with Whakarewarewa taking on Southern United and Waimana tackling Otorohanga.

At 1pm Waikite will take on University and Rangiuru will play Hamilton Old Boys before the main event at 2.45pm when the Bay's champs Rangataua take on Waikato's No 1 squad, Melville.


Rangataua were crowned the Baywide women's champs after beating Rangiuru in the final minutes of a hard-fought battle, with both teams giving everything they had through to the final second.

Bay of Plenty Rugby Union women's development officer Lesley Elder said the championship aimed to create strong links between the Bay and Waikato women's club teams, while also "exposing the talent evident within women's rugby to a wider audience".

2018 Battle of the Kaimais

BATTLE OF THE KAIMAIS | Who will come out on top between Bay of Plenty Rugby v Waikato Rugby women's club teams? Head down to the Tauranga Domain this Saturday 4th August to find out when the girls go out to battle on the field! DRAW: 11.15am: Whakarewarewa vs. Southern United 11.15am: Waimana vs. Otorohanga 1.00pm: Waikite vs. University 1.00pm: Rangiuru vs. Hamilton Old Boys 2.45pm: Rangataua vs. Melville MORE: http://bit.ly/2OsZSrp

Posted by Bay of Plenty Rugby on Sunday, 29 July 2018

Elder says the championship would not only grow both the provincial unions' and clubs' loyalty and pride, but also create a championship every player will ultimately strive to participate in.

"With this, the intent is to increase the value of internal provincial union club competitions due to more teams striving to compete at this event."

Whakarewarewa coach Ron James says the battle being held on a Saturday had "thrown a bit of a spanner in the works", with many of the women having other commitments such as netball that day.

"We'll still front but we'll be struggling for a full team." James says.

"In saying that, it is good to have the chance to go up against different teams. We can go out and concentrate on our game, because neither side knows how the other plays.

"You can try everything and anything, they can just go out there and enjoy it, it will be a good way to finish the season off. A lot of them are just keen to get back and play with each other again."


Waikite coach Shane Wilson says he knew little about this weekend's opposition, University, but the players were looking forward to the challenge.

"It's pretty exciting for us, exposing us to rugby players from over in Waikato, which should be good for the game. I know nothing about University, but we just need to play our game. If we do what we do well, we should be alright."

The Baywide Premier women's competition was tough for Waikite, who won the title in 2017, as they were without many of their Bay representatives through injury and other commitments. Their season culminated in a 46-10 loss to eventual winners Rangataua in the semifinals.

"It was just our defence that let us down on the day.

"We had a pretty stink season, in comparison to the other seasons we've had. We were missing a few players which took a big chunk out of our team, but it gave us the opportunity to play some new players which will be good for next year," Wilson says.

Battle of the Kaimai Challenge:

Date: Tomorrow

Location: Tauranga Domain

Entry: Free


11.15am: Whakarewarewa v Southern United and Waimana v Otorohanga

1pm: Waikite v University and Rangiuru v Hamilton Old Boys

2.45pm: Rangataua v Melville