Girls of far south conquer all teams in their path
Georgia Mason's unforgettable try on fulltime was a highlight at the Girls' Rugby Festival in Oamaru this month.
The Southland Girls' High School student's try was much needed and with Courtney Churstain's conversion, gave the school a 22-21 win over Motueka in a 7s pool game of division A.
The Southland team carried on to beat St Hilda's 48-0 in a semi-final and Forward Foundation Gold, 26-15 in the final. Forward Foundation Gold was a Canterbury combined team at the festival, which all New Zealand secondary schools can attend.
North Island schools trek south occasionally but this year, all teams were from the South Island.
Southland Girls' High School won the festival's 15-a-side competition without conceding a point.
In pool play it beat Ashburton 30-0, St Kevin's 31-0, Otago Girls' High 41-0 and St Hilda's 37-0.
Southland Girls' High School coach, Nathan Muir, said St Hilda's was a more determined opponent in the semifinal.
"They came at us with a hiss and a roar."
St Hilda's improved showing was not good enough to beat Southland Girls' High School, which won 10-0.
In the final, Southland Girls' dealt to Forward Foundation, 26-0.
"The girls were really switched on, motivated for the final," Muir said of his team.
"They defended well, counter rucked well and clicked on attack."
Southland Girls' fielded a team in the 7s division B competition, but lost to Christchurch Girls' High School in the final, 10-0.
The tournament team included five Southland Girls' High School team members - Molly Tomlins, Lesley Neho, Jacqui Chamberlain, Georgia Mason and Amy du Plessis.
"Jacqui and Georgia have been good players for a long time," Muir said.
"Georgia is one of the best open sides in the country [at secondary school level]. We think Amy's got a lot of potential." firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Southland Times