Feilding eye regional supremacy

GEORGE HEAGNEY
Last updated 12:11 22/08/2012

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The Feilding High School girls' First XV are not far off becoming the country's top side.

Feilding are playing New Plymouth Girls' High School in the Hurricanes final at Arena Manawatu on Saturday and if they win, they progress to the national top four competition.

The competition is for the best school from each of the Blues, Chiefs and Hurricanes regions and one from the South Island, so Feilding assistant coach Ian Cokayne was hoping they would continue this year's dominant form on Saturday.

"We set the girls a target to be the best team in New Zealand this year," he said.

"To win that we've got to win the Hurricanes' first. This is a steppingstone to prove we're the best team."

Coach Rob Jones is at home in Wales and Cokayne said the performance of the team, which has been strong for a few years, was down to Jones' efforts.

"He turned the attitude and culture around too I guess," Cokayne said.

"There were some girls going out partying, but he turned it around, made it semi-professional. Let's get the girls in the game and teach them about rugby."

Jones has been with the team for about six years with Cokayne involved for two and he said their goal was now within their grasp.

"I think the way me and Jonesy coach the girls, we treat them like rugby players. Like they're first XV rugby players. We train them three times a week. They come keen and want to learn. We don't do it half-heartedly."

This year Feilding have beaten Dannevirke High School (102-0 and 105-0), Tararua College (110-0 and 41-5), Freyberg High School (121-0), Christchurch's St Margaret's College (47-0), Christchurch Girls' High School (32-0 and 12-0), Dunedin's St Hilda's Collegiate School (41-0), Christchurch's Burnside High School (22-0), Oamaru's St Kevin's College (57-0), Southland Girls' High School (41-0), Auckland Girls' Grammar School (41-10) and Tamaki College (18-10).

Some play for the Feilding Old Boys-Oroua team and there are four in the Manawatu NPC side. .

This year they won a South Island sevens tournament as well as the North Island one, which qualified them for the national Condor sevens tournament in December, which is another target.

"Other schools don't put the resources into it," Cokayne said. "Not being able to have good coaches or get the girls in to play. Luckily success breeds success. Once you're winning, girls want to join the squad."

On their South Island tour, the side won the South Island secondary schools championship and two weeks ago beat the New Zealand Army team 22-19.

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Feilding beat New Plymouth 52-0 in last year's final.

The Hurricanes final kicks off at 1pm on Arena 2 while the Feilding boys first XV plays in the Hurricanes co-ed schools final against Wanganui High School on Arena 3 also at 1pm.

Feilding High School girls First XV: Sarah Fairless, Aylse Bird, Tayla Haere, Stephanie Dryfhout, Rebecca Swainson, Zoe Whatarau, Deirdre Roberts (captain), Amy Cokayne, Dannielle Chaplin, Hayley Hutana, Mette Zimmat, Crystal Mayes, Jade Winter, Georgia Martin, Cheyanne Wiperi-Graham, Karyn Robertson, Ariana Tipu, Teisa Kaufusi, Sharvarne Hislop, Kate Parkinson, Hannah McCoard, Jessica Braddock, Bailey Woodman, Belinder Dyer.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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