Premiere women‘s club rugby final on Sunday

The 2022 Toi Ohomai Baywide premier women's club rugby final is being held on Sunday July 3. Photo: Supplied.

The stage is set for the 2022 Toi Ohomai Baywide Premier Women's Club Final this Sunday as Waikite host Rangataua for a chance to be crowned champions.

"Because their only loss was to top placed Rangiuru, they had to settle for second place," says a Bay of Plenty Rugby spokesperson.

"Their semi-final matchup was a nail-biting affair against the defending champions Mount Maunganui with the Rotorua club squeezing out a 34-33 win by the barest of margins.

"They now make their first finals appearance since 2017 with the chance to win their 4th Baywide Women's title."

"It is an honour and a privilege for our humble club and community to have the grand final at our Waikite club in ‘Te Poho o Te Koutu’ Bellevue Road, Koutu," says Waikite Head Coach Richie Francis.

"The whole community will turn out from our Koeke down to all our Mokopuna. Our Tai Mitchell Rotorua Gold Under 13 girls team are the curtain-raiser vs Rangitaiki at 11:45am, so it will be a great day for them and both Maori clubs and Iwi involved."

The Waikite women's rugby story of the past few years is inspiring. After years of dominance in the early to mid-2010s, Waikite became absent from the women's game for three long years.

Francis expressed the need to acknowledge sisters Tina and Eliza Stephens who were the trailblazers for re-inspiring women's rugby in the club.

"Both sisters were recognised for their commitment to the women's game by the Waikite club when they were presented with their blazers during our 2020 Prize giving," says Francis.

"This was a first and the start of Waikite re-entering in the women's competition in 2021.

Rangataua will still be pinching themselves after their incredible 25-22 upset win vs the top-seeded Rangiuru last weekend.

Rangataua's last trip to the big dance was in 2020 when they lost the final to Rangiuru. A fitting semi-final result as the Maungatapu side played to their exciting potential to get a big win back over the top seed.

"This is a huge achievement for the team and the club. We have a proud history that has been upheld for nearly 115 years since it was established by our tupuna of Te Tahuna o Rangataua. It continues today with our whānau, friends and wider community," says Rangataua Head Coach Scott Kahle.

Battling with lots of injury setbacks and challenges on and off the field,

Rangataua has shown grit and determination this season, a never-say-die attitude that sees them with the opportunity to win their first title since 2018.

"We are lucky we have a committed group of women with a great mix of young talent and veteran experience," says Kahle.

The defining moment for Rangataua this year came courtesy of their impressive 27-12 round-robin win vs Mount Maunganui back in April. Kahle says it was during this moment the side confirmed their self-belief in their ability and brand of rugby after pulling off a big win against the reigning champs.

Kahle speaks for the entire Rangataua community when he says they are behind their women this Sunday and will be supporting their side in full force.

The Toi Ohomai Baywide Premier Women's Club Final kicks off Sunday, July 3, with the livestream starting at 12.45 pm and kick off at 1.00pm. 

The livestream can be watched on the Bay of Plenty Rugby Facebook page thanks to Local Gecko Productions and Zespri, sponsors of the livestream.

Match Officials
Referree: Amon Rimene
Assistant Referees: Neco Blank & Braydin Southall
Sideline Manager: John Kilkelly

Waikite Teamlist
1. Sailah-Jayee Morris-Viti
2. Delwyn Fraser (C)
3. Dolly Vercoe-Roberts
4. Rohakino Niupalau
5. AniMei Skudder
6. He'lena Dou'ble
7. Vanea S Robati
8. Atareta Doctor
9. Phoenix Tumanako
10. Eliza Stephens
11. Jag Stephens
12. Kimoana Niupalau
13. Kataraina Rauwhero-Stainton
14. Brooke Simpkins
15. Hayley Church

16. Courtney Sullivan
17. Puriti-Faith Biel
18. Sharnz Waretini
19. Alissha Arahanga
20. Lexi Crengle
21. Kayanne Wilson
22. Mya Batt-Brown   

Coach: Richard Francis
Assistant Coaches: Aneta Mihinui & Janina Khan
Manager: Tina Stephens
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Rangataua Teamlist
1. Sereana Naqarase
2. Te Ra Keno
3. Jamaya Maruariki (Co-C)
4. Harmony Yates
5. Grace Kahle
6. Ruby Tawa
7. Les Elder
8. Kiri-Lee Delamere-Ririnui
9. Sheniqua Taula
10. Hope Garner
11. Tania Raharuhi
12. Azalleyah Maaka
13. Liv Richardson
14. Kiana Rae  
15. Kiki Tahere (Co-C)

16. Sierra Teipo
17. Jera Flexman
18. Ani Elder  
19. Pia Tapsell  
20. Kaia Teipo
21. Te Rina Leubert
22. Zipporah Taurima   

Coach: Scott Kahle
Managers: Janelle Storer & Natasha Kahle
Physio: Kimberley Pilbrow (KP Physiotherapy)
Hydration Manager: Alex Jessop
Sponsored by Farmlands Tauriko, Kaitimako N Block Trust, Powered by Prevention, Seeka

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