The Bay of Plenty Volcanix are well aware this afternoon’s Game of Three Halves at Tauranga Domain will be a huge challenge for them, but they can’t wait to test themselves against the country’s top women rugby players.
They take on the might of the Black Ferns in the first forty minutes, then put their feet up for a brief spell while the national team play another forty against the Auckland Storm, before running out again to face the Aucklanders in the third and final ‘half’ of the match.
It’s the first time they’ve played as a team this season, and gives them a valuable opportunity to come together and put combinations out on the park. Coach Brendon Webby is also keen to see who of his squad front up against their higher rated opponents.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the girls to step up and put their hand up against two highly talented teams,” he says. “We haven’t been training as a unit for that long, but in our individual clusters we have been grinding away for some time now.
The performance as a group and as individuals is what he will be looking at, as much as the results, for his team which will be stepping up to the Farrah Palmer Cup Premiership after taking out last year’s Championship final over Otago at a rain-soaked Blake Park.
“It’ll be a challenging task at best but will provide us with some excellent preparation as we move up into the Premiership division this year. We are looking forward to it and believe our squad will proudly represent their province this weekend.”
Bay of Plenty Rugby CEO Mike Rogers says the Game of Three Halves is something special for his union and supporters who can support a worthy cause while enjoying the rugby.
“This is a unique opportunity for our community to see first-hand the best players in the country hit out against our team and an exceptionally talented Auckland side,” he says.
“There will be no gate charge, however we do ask you give generously to our chosen charity Mount Maunganui Surf Lifesaving.”
Kids will eat for free thanks to Tauranga City Council and Molenberg, says Mike.
“We know ‘kids eat free’ is a winner and we couldn’t have delivered a free BBQ for the kids without the support of Tauranga City Council and Molenberg, so we thank them for this.”
The Game of Three Halves kicks off at midday today at Tauranga Domain. Admission is free.
Bay of Plenty Volcanix vs. Black Ferns:
1 Braxton Walker, 2 Lily Florence, 3 Baye Jacob, 4 Mikyla Wardlaw, 5 Calli Perrott, 6 Christie Yule ©, 7 Kendra Reynolds, 8 Kate Henwood, 9 Jade Tuilaepa, 10 Ora Williams/Renee Holmes, 11 Mystery Mclean Kora, 12 Tania-Rose Raharuhi, 13 Hana Tapiata, 14 Anahera Mohi, 15 Sapphire Tapsell.
Volcanix vs. Auckland Storm:
1 Angel Mulu, 2 Rawinia Luka/Kura Hudson, 3 Christine Corbett, 4 Amanda Aldridge, 5 Tracey Lemon/ Mikyla Wardlaw, 6 Zoe Wilson, 7 Tynealle Fitzgerald, 8 Christie Yule ©, 9 Polly Playle/Bree Meyer, 10 Renee Holmes/Te Rina Mohi, 11 Olivia Richardson, 12 Koroia Heyblom, 13 Joy Benioni, 14 Emily Magee, 15 Sapphire Tapsell.
Black Ferns v Bay of Plenty Volcanix, kickoff: 12.00pm
Black Ferns v Auckland Storm, kick-off 12.55pm
Bay of Plenty Volcanix v Auckland Storm, kick-off: 1.50pm