Sunday 20 March | FMG Stadium Waikato
Matatū v Hurricanes Poua, 5.45pm
Referee: Maggie Cogger-Orr
Assistant Referee: Tiana Ngawati & Taneika Uerata
nib Blues v Waitomo Chiefs Manawa, 7:45pm
Referee: Lauren Jenner
Assistant Referees: Larissa Collingwood & Cassie Watt
The first ever Sky Super Rugby Aupiki champion will be crowned on Sunday night, and it’s between the nib Blues and Waitomo Chiefs Manawa. The Blues currently sit three points behind the Manawa on the table, so a Blues win will be enough to secure them the title.
nib Blues Coach Willie Walker said the side is buoyed by the return of veteran Eloise Blackwell to the match-day 23.
“Naturally the team are excited for their captain to be fit for selection, and for Eloise to be able to take her place to come off the bench,” Walker said.
Waitomo Chiefs Manawa Head Coach Allan Bunting said the team are looking forward to the challenge their final match will bring.
“We are well aware what’s on the line this Sunday and look forward to the challenge. We have done really well as a group to progress through this competition and to battle our way into what will basically be the first ever Sky Super Rugby Aupiki final. I’m very proud of the team, I know our ladies will leave everything out on the field this weekend, said Bunting.
Matatū and the Hurricanes Poua face off in the earlier match, with both side’s searching for their first win. Matatū battled hard against both the Chiefs and Blues and they’ll be desperate for victory.
Matatū coach Blair Baxter said the side was excited to see Kendra Cocksedge make her debut for the side and eager to finish the season on a high.
“It will be a chance for us to leave everything out on the field as the inaugural squad for Matatū, and the team has been working really hard to ensure we put a proud performance on the field on Sunday,” Baxter said.
Despite a rough build up, the Hurricanes Poua showed real determination against the Manawa on Tuesday, and they’ll be looking to tidy up their high error rate against Matatū.
Coach Wesley Clarke said the team is fully fit and ready to fire in their final game of the season.
“It’s been great to finally have some full team trainings, and the team has trained really well. So hopefully, if everyone is on form on Sunday, we will be able to show our true selves,” Clarke said.
Matatū: 1. Pip Love 2. Georgia Ponsonby 3. Amy Rule 4. Michaela Leonard 5. Chelsea Bremner 6. Alana Bremner © 7. Kendra Reynolds 8. Greer Muir 9. Kendra Cocksedge 10. Terauoriwa Gapper 11. Grace Steinmetz 12. Liv McGoverne 13. Amy du Plessis 14. Martha Mataele 15. Renee Holmes
Reserves: 16. Steph Te Ohaere-Fox 17. Lucy Anderson 18. Ashley Palu 19. Natalie Delamere 20. Julia Gorinski 21. Rosie Kelly 22. Arabella McKenzie 23. Kilisitina Vea 24. Tayla Simpson 25. Lucy Jenkins
Hurricanes Poua: 1. Marilyn Live 2. Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate 3. Leilani Perese 4. Jackie Patea-Fereti 5. Joanah Ngan-Woo 6. Layla Sae 7. Sarah Hirini © 8. Kaipo Olsen-Baker 9. Iritana Hohaia 10. Carys Dallinger 11. Ayesha Leti-I’iga 12. Monica Tagoai 13. Janna Vaughan 14. Crystal Mayes 15. Cheyelle Robins-Reti
Reserves: 16. Jayme Nuku 17. Ngano Tavake 18. Esther Tilo-Faiaoga 19. Rachael Rakatau 20. Kat Brown 21. Ana Afuie 22. Rhiarna Ferris 23. Amanda Rasch 24. Teilah Ferguson 25. Rangimarie Sturmey
nib Blues: 1. Krystal Murray 2. Rebecca Todd 3. Aldora Itunu 4. Cindy Nelles 5. Maiakawanakaulani Roos 6. Liana Mikaele-Tu’u 7. Tafito Lafaele 8. Aroha Savage © 9. Melanie Puckett 10. Patricia Maliepo 11. Natahlia Moors 12. Ruahei Demant 13. Theresa Fitzpatrick 14. Shyanne Thompson 15. Tyla Nathan-Wong
Reserves: 16. Chryss Viliko 17. Olivia Ward-Duin 18. Marie-Cilia Po’e-Tofaeono 19. Cristo Tofa 20. Vineta Teutau 21. Eloise Blackwell 22. Krystal Cottrell 23. Mele Hufunga 24. Sam Curtis 25. Princess Elliot
Waitomo Chiefs Manawa: 1. Angel Mulu 2. Luka Connor 3. Tanya Kalounivale 4. Pia Tapsell 5. Harono Te Iringa 6. Victoria Edmonds 7. Les Elder © 8. Kennedy Simon 9. Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu 10. Kelly Brazier 11. Ruby Tui 12. Carla Hohepa 13: Stacey Fluhler 14. Portia Woodman 15. Hazel Tubic
Reserves: 16. Grace Houpapa-Barrett 17. Awhina Tangen-Wainohu 18. Santo Taumata 19. Chyna Hohepa 20. Mia Anderson 21. Tynealle Fitzgerald 22. Ariana Bayler 23. Chelsea Semple 24. Renee Wickliffe 25. Langi Veainu