Te Wananga o Raukawa Rahui maintained their strong record in the Manawatu premier club competition when they won the grand final 50-46 against Tu Toa at the B&M centre last night.
It was a replay of last year's final except Rahui reversed the result to give them another title, much to the enjoyment of coach Oriwia Raureti.
"We have only been playing up here, this might be our ninth year, and we've been lucky enough to be in all but two finals and have maybe won four of five times," she said.
Rahui used a different defensive strategy and even though Tu Toa got back to within one point in the third quarter, Raureti, who won coach-of-the-year award, had faith they could hold them out.
"We lost the points, so it was just about sorting ourselves out and tidying our game up. I was just annoyed because we threw so many pass-offs. The girls came ready and from the time they arrived I knew we were there."
Tu Toa coach Yvette McCausland-Durie was disappointed they couldn't repeat last year's effort when they beat Rahui 46-38, the club's only title in its short history.
"We've pretty much been in the final most times to be honest and they haven't gone our way," she said. "Whichever team it's been, we haven't managed to pull it off."
Tu Toa lost a lot of ball and didn't play their normal aggressive game because Rahui "came out all guns blazing" and had them under pressure from the start with their suffocating defence.
Rahui took them by surprise, rushing out to an eight-goal lead in the first quarter and Tu Toa couldn't catch up as they made a lot of mistakes and turned the ball over, making it hard to chase the game.
Raureti was able to call on former Silver Fern Liana Leota at wing attack and Central Pulse defender Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit - both who played well along with wing defence Heniti Davis. Leota was named player of the final.
Materoa Poi came on after the first quarter and Shaani Temata-Frost came on at halftime for Tu Toa which turned the tide slightly but it wasn't enough.
In the other matches, Feilding A2 beat Palmerston North Girls' High School 69-53 in the playoff for fifth and sixth, Massey A1 beat Feilding A1 64-60 in extra time in the playoff for third and fourth and Massey A2 defaulted to Red Sox-Olympic in the playoff for seventh and eighth.
Massey defender Jenna O'Sullivan won the award for premier one player of the year and most promising under-21 player while Rahui's Selby-Rickit was senior player of the year. Rahui 50 (Maraea Murray 30/35, Miriama Selby-Rickit 20/25) Tu Toa 46 (Emma-May Murray 13/13, Renee Matoe 29/34, Shaani Temata-Frost 4/4) HT 28-22.
Awards: Sheridan and Trim Trophy (bench official): Paula Simpson. Defence Trophy: Massey A1 (540 goals conceded). Steffensen Trophy: Tu Toa (847 goals scored). Les Pyne Memorial Trophy (coach of the year): Oriwia Raureti. President's Plate (player of the final): Liana Leota. Chettleburgh Trophy (premier one player of the year): Jenna O'Sullivan. Jenny Brookie Memorial Rosebowl (most promising under-21 player): Jenna O'Sullivan. Glynis Lye Trophy (most promising senior player): Shaani Temata-Frost. Mcconnon Rosebowl (senior player of the year): Te Huinga Reo Selby-Rickit.
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