Waimea Old Boys are the champions of women’s rugby for the fourth year running with head coach Brendan O’Connor dedicating the victory to team manager Stacey Davis, who gave birth just one hour before kick off.
The 20-15 win over Stoke was a huge turn around for the girls. Despite its dominance in women’s rugby winning the championship seven times in the past eight years, the squad were close to pulling out of this year’s competition due to low player names.
A group of five girls from Blenheim registered with the club and Brendan says without their commitment, the team may have gone the entire season without fielding a team.
But on Saturday it was Kylie Albert that the team had to thank after she scored a try just 10 minutes from fulltime to give Waimea a five point lead, after the scores were locked at 15-15.
Brendan admits that Stoke showed more x-factor in its backline throughout but the wet weather at Jubilee Park meant the game was won in the forwards.
Stoke were oddly without two of its best players for the final with Rebecca Kersten and Moana Forbes making the training squad for the New Zealand women’s sevens team.
Noela McGregor scored Waimea’s first try following an early five pointer by Stoke first five Jenna Eathrone. Jenna landed a penalty to give Stoke the lead at half time.
Jess Foster was next to score, giving Waimea the lead. The match was also young halfback Tash Kara’s 100th club appearance. Skipper Nikita Lunjevich had another strong game.