Whakarewarewa served up a Mothers' Day feast of tries as they ran riot against local rivals Rotoiti today.
It was raining tries on a rainy day at Puarenga Park as Whakarewarewa romped home to a 102-0 victory. Despite wet and slippery conditions, they played expansive, free-flowing footy as they broke the defensive line at ease and kept up the intensity for the full 80 minutes.
While they were out of their depth, the Rotoiti players' heads never dropped. Their coach and former Black Fern Karen Vercoe said her side had been on the receiving end of some heavy defeats this season but with a squad of mostly first time players, the focus was on improving rather than the scoreline.
"I think if I look at the girls from when I first got them, to where they are now, even though we've just been hammered, their structure was actually a hell of a lot better.
"The girls are starting to understand what their core roles are and their positions. We have quite a few new girls who have never played before so really, for me, it's just an opportunity for them to play the game and get a feel for what it's like.
"So while we're getting trounced week in, week out, we're actually improving which is pretty good."
Vercoe said the other key factor for her side was enjoyment and the players were having a good time. The club has a three-year plan for the team and hopes to hold on to all the new players in the future.
"This year we've had three goals; enjoy the game, improve each week and really just form a team because we have a whole lot of girls who don't really know each other. We're getting there though and I'm still proud of the girls.
"We've got a couple of experienced girls and they're amazing, they're really leading from the front."
Whakarewarewa captain Antoinette Kereopa said being out on the rugby field was a great way to spend Mothers' Day.
"I like to lead by example, I expect my children to play rugby and I expect all the girls in our town to play good rugby. If they can come up and watch me play on a Sunday, I'm definitely happy.
"My kids are my biggest critics, they'll let me know if something's wrong."
Even after winning by 102 points, she was eager to talk about how the team could continue to improve.
"We had some good structure but there were a few mistakes we'll probably work on at training. We had to play to the conditions so I'm just happy that the girls dug in deep and got in shorter when we needed to. We just played hard and played rugby.
"Our ball handling skills were definitely there today but our mistakes were just not owning the ball. I don't think it was ball handling errors, it was just owning the ball.
"We're always looking for something to improve on. If we get that right we move on to something else, if we get it wrong we go back."
She said the team culture at Whakarewarewa was "awesome".
"You play with them on the field and they have your back off the field. Some of us travel from Tokoroa and Turangi to come up to a club and they treat you like that, you can't beat the whanaungatanga here."
Baywide Premier Women's Rugby Results
Waimana 12 Rangiuru 58, Matata 0 Rangataua 86, Whakarewarewa 102 Rotoiti 0, Mount Maunganui the bye.