A home-grown rugby talent showed all her class at the Central Zone sevens tournament at Playford Park in Levin at the weekend, as the women's competition stole the show.
Selica Winiata, 32, called on all her international experience in helping her Manawatū team win a women's division that was equally as skilful and exciting to watch as the men's group.
In what was a great advertisement for women's rugby , with television crews streaming it live, the former Fairfield School student opened up her bag of tricks in a high-quality display.
Winiata was excited about the future of women's rugby and said that while provinces like Horowhenua weren't represented at the weekend, with only Manawatū, Wellington, Hawke's Bay and Taranaki entering, it was only a matter of time.
"The game is certainly growing and the skill level is outstanding now. There were some really close games and that's what you want," she said.
There was no reason why Horowhenua-Kāpiti could not enter a women's team for next season's competition.
"To be fair it comes down to enthusiasm, resources and time...but the talent will be there," she said.
"There is so much opportunity for these girls."
Winiata had played internationally in both seven-a-side and 15-a-side forms of the game, and said to represent her country in any form of the game was a dream.
She had played every season since she was 13 years old and has no plans to hang up her boots in the near future.
Manawatū beat Wellington 22-10 in the final. The challenge now for Manawatū would be to take a step up at the national tournament in Tauranga on December 15,16.
Meanwhile, the Horowhenua-Kāpiti men's team failed to qualify for the national tournament in what was a tough pool.
The teams that did qualify (in seeding order) were Wellington, Hawke's Bay, Manawatū,
Taranaki and Wairarapa Bush.
Wellington beat Hawkes Bay 14-7 in the men's final.