Feilding first XVs chasing national titles

The Feilding High School girls 1st XV will be gunning for three national titles in a row when it starts the top-four playoffs against Southern Cross Campus at Arena Manawatu tomorrow.The Feilding High School girls 1st XV will be gunning for three national titles in a row when it starts the top-four playoffs against Southern Cross Campus at Arena Manawatu tomorrow.

Having won the national top four the past two years, Feilding have a tough job to win it again and start with a semifinal against south Auckland school Southern Cross.

Between 2006 and 2013, Feilding won 179 of 192 games in sevens, 10s and 15s, but this has been a rebuilding year for coach Rob Jones.

Competition around the country has improved and Feilding lost 10 girls from last year including stars Hayley Hutana (NZ sevens) and Amy Cokayne (England under-20s).

"This year we are developing new leaders and growing depth in the team," Jones said. "We have played well most of the time, but struggled to find competition locally."

Feilding qualified for the Condor Sevens by winning the Manawatu competition and won the Manawatu 10-a-side championships.

They toured Japan and finished fourth in the Sanix Sevens girls' event.

Onehunga High School are the only team to have beaten Feilding this year, 42-26 in Auckland.

But surprisingly, Onehunga were beaten by Southern Cross in the Auckland final, 28-27.

Southern Cross, the former school of Olympics shot put champion Valerie Adams, has a strong record in rugby. They are the Auckland secondary school 12-a-side champions and finished third at the Auckland sevens tournament.

Kickoff is at 12.30pm.

Southland Girls' High School and Hamilton Girls' High School play in the other semifinal at 3pm, with the final on Sunday.

Feilding HS girls' 1st XV (from): Abbey Rivers, Lauren Balsillie, Ashleigh Knight, Makenzie Nuku, Bailey Woodman, Rose Stroud, Bree Baker, Sam Keane, Brooke Hooper, Samantha Olsen, Carys Dallinger, Sarah Menzies, Charlie Nimmo, Sarah Swinbanks, Christina Cotton, Sarah Taluempa, Corrineke Windle, Sharvarne Hislop, Georgia Ponsonby, Shayden Tipu, Hinekura Connor-Phillips, Tamara Williams, Jannah Rowden.

Southern Cross Campus (from): Aivaai Moli, Moana Fineaso-Levi, Allis Fotu, Olivia Poloniati Junior, Courtney Tekeu, Oloataua Magele, Idlequinn Tapusoa, Pauline Ripata, Illa Va'a, Sarah Filimoeatu, Jaime Patuki, Susan Paaka, Keleni Veamatahau, Tufui Lauhingoa, Lesieli Kioa, Tuiala Iakopo, Lisiua Havili, Tupou Makaui, Luti Sikoloni, Vaine Mohematagi, Maria Hifo, Vea Tuingamala-Kafoa, Mele Hala.

Hamilton GHS (from): Ariana Bayler, Muri Martell, Ariana Hira-Herangi, Nivana Gallagher, Calista Wihone, Nyesha Hamilton, Carmen Mataira, Saffron Hedges, Diamond Henry, Savon Tovio-Smith, Haven Garisau, Stacey Littleworth, Jhanaya Nathan, Stephanie Lualua, Kaea Ruawai, Tava Tyrell, Kanyon Paul, Te Awatea Whitiora-Te Uira, Kennedy Simon, Tenika Willison, Makaia Riki-Te Kanawa, Terina Te Tamaki, Manaia Willison, Vasanthi Lualua.

Southland GHS (from): Alena Saili, Laura Molloy, Alice Chamberlain, Lauren Brown, Amy du Plessis, Lauren Christie, Bree Thomas, Lilly Tomlins, Courtney Churstain, Louise Calder, Eva-Marie Auuaiti, Lucy McIntyre, Georgia Mason, Meg Paterson, Jacqui Chamberlain, Molly Wheeley, Jessica Dermody, Patricia Hopcroft, Kate Black, Simone Caughey, Kayla Brocks, Sipa Saili, Kendall Buckingham, Tyla Crossan.

Meanwhile, the Feilding High School boys' 1st XV competes in the NZ Barbarians Trophy co-ed schools semifinal at Rotorua tomorrow.

Feilding line up against Auckland division 1A 1st XV Otahuhu College.

In the other semifinal, Cambridge High School tackle Oamaru school St Kevin's College.

Feilding beat Cambridge 40-0 in April and last Saturday ousted a spirited Tawa College 39-22 in the Hurricanes final at Arena Manawatu.

Feilding have had a late-season resurgence of form after a slump, but battled for much of the second half against Tawa, who are a Wellington premier 2 side. The brilliance of their backs and fullback Vilimoni Koroi with two late tries got them through.

Otahuhu startled the rest of New Zealand schools when they audaciously beat St Kentigern College 26-20 in the tough Auckland 1A competition, their first loss in three seasons and 35 games.

Otahuhu finished fifth and lost to the other three semifinalists, 18-14 to Sacred Heart College, 12-7 to Auckland Grammar School and 16-14 to St Peter's College.

Like Tawa, Otahuhu have a huge pack for the smaller Feilding to contend with. Their stars are their Blues under-18 players, lock-No 8 Richard Tongatama, halfback Marius Tonu'u and midfielder Taeao Ola.

Feilding won the national co-ed title in 2009, the year they won 24 out of 26 games.

This season they turned heads when they hadeight players picked for the Hurricanes under-18 camp - prop Max Fryatt, loose forwards Alex Hawira, Ollie Brosnahan and Kepueli Tu'ifua, hooker Chris Cairns, Koroi and wings Matt Raleigh and Luther Hirini.

Another key player for them is halfback and goalkicker Tom Stewart.

Feilding HS boys' 1st XV: (possible line-up) 15 Vilimoni Koroi, 14 Matt Raleigh, 13 George Stratton, 12 Cameron Black, 11 Luther Hirini, 10 Hemi Bettridge, 9 Tom Stewart, 8 Alex Hawira, 7 Jack Kinder, 6 Kepueli Tu'ifua, 5 Gordan Coogan, 4 Todd Parkinson, 3 James Coogan (Tru Ratana- Horton), 2 Simon Goss, 1 Max Fryatt (captain). Reserves: 16 Chris Cairns, 17 Tru Ratana-Horton (Ben Ottaway), 18 James Jenkins, 19 Hamish Bennett, 20 Ollie Brosnahan, 21 Maraku Josiah, 22 Siosaia Teumohenga, 23, Munesu Mapanda.

Manawatu Standard