Rebecca Mahoney breaks ground as first woman to referee Manawatu senior A club rugby
GOOD SPORTS: Former Manawatu Cyclones player Rebecca Mahoney has become the first woman to officiate a Manawatu senior A rugby match.
Mahoney was the referee for Old Boys-Marist against Linton Army on Saturday, which OBM won 63-6.
She referees out of Wairarapa Bush, but offered her services to Manawatu since her local competition was a couple of weeks away from starting.
Mahoney is one of the nation's top-ranked female referees and had her first women's international assignment last year.
Rising Manawatu referee Brittany Andrews has been an assistant referee in senior A rugby, but has yet to be assigned a match as the referee.
Wilcox on debut
Manawatu's Mac Wilcox scored a goal in his Black Sticks debut against Pakistan on Saturday.
His goal proved crucial as the Black Sticks drew the match 2-2.
Wilcox's efforts caught the eye of coach Darren Smith.
"I thought Mac was really impressive on debut, he made some good runs and his goal was excellent using his skills to acceleration and open up with a really crisp finish."
Wilcox is now based in Auckland, but still plays NHL for Central.
Manawatu influence in young Canes
The Hurricanes Under 20s featured a healthy array of Manawatu players for their match against the Argentina Under 20s in Wellington on Saturday.
The match was played as the curtain raiser for the Hurricanes-Highlanders Super Rugby match with the Hurricanes claiming the win in referee's time 33-31.
Outside back Ben Wurthmuller started the game at fullback, while the bench featured hooker Chris Cairns, flanker Liam Giltrap, wing Luther Hirini and No 8 Brayden Iose.
Midfielder Ueta Tufuga was also in Wellington and impressed at a Samoa Under 20s trial.
Winiata tries reffing
New Zealand woman's rugby star Selica Winiata got to experience a different side of rugby as she tried her hand with the whistle last week.
Winiata, who was heavily involved in the Kiwisport in School project aimed at getting more girls interested in sevens rugby, was one of a group of referees tasked with controling games at the Secondary School Sevens Series at Massey University on Wednesday.
Those who watched her work gave her refereeing the green tick and said despite being the referee, she was still first to the ball.