Winiata blitzes records
Speedster in running for Black FernsGEORGE HEAGNEY
Prolific points scorer Selica Winiata has re-written the Manawatu record books this season and is hoping it propels her into a national team this year.
Winiata set two national championship records this season, scoring 110 points, a record for Manawatu and the women's national provincial competition, beating Aucklander Tammi Wilson's record of 101 points in a season set in 1999.
Winiata scored 14 tries this year, beating the previous record of 13 shared by Aucklanders Louisa Wall (in 1999) and Dianne Kahura (2002).
The speedster has been splitting open opposition defences all season but she had no idea she had set the two records.
"I guess this season was probably my best season for scoring tries," Winiata said. "I don't know, I just think it's with a better team and I just took my opportunities when they came and didn't hold back. I couldn't really afford to do that. The coaches just said ‘if there's a gap and you can take it, take it'."
The little first five-eighth or fullback's name is firmly etched in the Manawatu record books, holding numerous records.
She also has the most appearances (52), most tries overall (41), most points for Manawatu (285), most conversions in a season (17), most conversions in a match (6) and most points in a match (38 against Waikato), another surprise for her.
"We've always struggled, especially in the first division. We've struggled big time even getting points on the board."
She was also in hot scoring form for her Kia Toa club where she thought she had scored more than 60 tries this year.
Only two Auckland players have scored more points, both more than 300, in the national women's competition, and only Victoria Grant from North Harbour and Auckland has scored more tries than Winiata.
The Black Ferns squad for their tour to England is named after the NPC final between Auckland and Canterbury on Saturday and Winiata's form this year could see her back in the side.
But the New Zealand women's sevens team is starting its world series in Dubai at the same time and even though she hadn't heard much from the Black Ferns selectors, she could have to make a important decision.
"I've been told I'm going to Dubai for the New Zealand sevens but there's been feedback from the Black Ferns as well," Winiata said.
"They're very interested with how I've played with my speed and kicking . . . My sevens coach said if you are selected for the Black Ferns you've got a difficult choice to make. But he's quite happy for me to go with the Black Ferns if that is the case and look at Houston (the next leg of the series)."
A knee injury saw her miss the New Zealand sevens team's trip to the Oceania championships in Fiji in August but it didn't hurt her chances of making the squad for the world series.
She said it would be a hard choice if she does get selected for the Black Ferns and she would have to talk to sevens coach Sean Horan about joining the squad late.
- © Fairfax NZ News