SPORT – IT’S BEAUTIFUL BUT IT’S CRUEL SOMETIMES

Sport very much mirrors life from the highs of playing well and winning to the lows of losing, especially losing against strong odds and worse still if you are the player the focus is on for missing a vital play.

All those things were on display in a highly entertaining and nail-biting final of the Super Rugby Aupiki women’s Super rugby competition last weekend.

CHAMPIONS -The winning Matatu team from the Super Rugby Aupiki Final

Matatu, selected from the Crusaders and Highlanders regions, caused a massive upset in beating the previously unbeaten Chiefs Manawa side 33-31, having come back from trailing 0-19 after as many minutes.

When the Chiefs were controversially awarded a penalty in the last minute, fullback Tenika Willison just had to slot the goal from 20 metres just out to the right of the posts and her side would have won.

However the pressure proved too much and the kick flew wide much to the delight of the Matatu players.

Poor Tenika was distraught, in tears afterwards but that’s how sport goes sometimes and that’s one of the reasons we play it and one of the big reasons we watch it because you never really know who is going to win any sporting contest in competitions like this where the teams are evenly matched.

I hope this immensely talented young lady gets over that mis kick quickly. She is a high quality player and the Black Ferns sevens convert had an excellent campaign up until then.

That’s twice in women’s rugby we have seen a player miss a match-winning kick at goal in recent times, we all remember France first-five Caroline Drouin missing a relatively easy penalty against the Black Ferns in a thrilling semifinal which would have got her team into the final. Like Willison, Drouin had been in fine form through the tournament and kicked some great goals.

That’s sport, sometimes it just bites you in the butt for no apparent reason. The greatest cricketer of all time, Sir Donald Bradman needed less than 10 runs in his final test innings to average 100 runs but was clean bowled for a duck.

OUTSTANDING ! - Renee Holmes

I’m sure Tenika Willison’s team-mates and friends will get around her this week and remind her that it was not her fault they lost that final. Matatu, after a terrible start, put the defensive heat on the Chiefs, cutting down their space and forcing errors and from the start of the second quarter they got an edge up front and turned that pressure into points.

Stars of the final for Matatu included fullback Renee Holmes, a super star of the women’s game. She scored two tries and scored 23 points all up, what a player.

The mid-field of Amy du Plessis and Grace Brooker were superb and in an impressive forward pack, Amy Rule, Alana Bremner, Canadian lock Cindy Belles, Kendra Reynolds and Lucy Jenkins all shone.

Prop Tanya Kalounivale was sensational early on for the Chiefs Manawa threatening to win the game on her own with a powerhouse display but even her efforts were not enough.

AMY du PLESSIS - in fine form and really benefitting from Conrad Smith's mentoring.

Hats off to the Matatu coaching staff, headed by Blair Baxter and including Whitney Hansen, Tony Christie and Dan Cron for devising the tactics to upset the favourites.

What a year it’s been for Hansen and this is another title where she’s matched the achievement of her dad, former All Blacks coach Sir Steve Hansen. Like her dad, she is a World Cup winning coach and a Super rugby coach.

Shout out to two awesome ladies who have been our guests during the Super Rugby Aupiki competition, Chiefs Manawa head coach Crystal Kaua and former Black Ferns mid-fielder Chelsea Semple. Their expert analysis and willingness to share that on our website was very much appreciated.

Now we look forward to the Black Ferns coming over here to Queensland and taking on the Wallabies in the O’Reilly Cup clash on Thursday June 29, a contest that will also be part of the Pacific Four.

Teams contesting the Pacific Four are New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the USA.

BATTERING RAM Tanya Kalounivale - one of the best on ground.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

Share:

Comments are closed.

Search

Social Media

THE LATEST

DAN STAINS – PART OF QUEENSLAND’S MOST FAMOUS ORIGIN TEAMS

John Alexander catches up with a former Queensland rugby league state of origin star Dan Stains and gets a very interesting insight into how rugby league was at the top in the 1980s-90s in an era where no-one took a back step if the biff broke out and many players worked other jobs.

Frank Endacott’s contribution to New Zealand rugby league is probably not fully appreciated by those who aren’t close to him. Affectionately called “Happy Frank” because of his beaming cheerful smile, his enthusiasm and positive nature, he played rugby league in the days when in his words, “It was brutal.

HAPPY FRANK – A NEW ZEALAND RUGBY LEAGUE CHAMPION

Frank Endacott’s contribution to New Zealand rugby league is probably not fully appreciated by those who aren’t close to him.
Affectionately called “Happy Frank” because of his beaming cheerful smile, his enthusiasm and positive nature, he played rugby league in the days when in his words, “It was brutal.

All Blacks vs Ireland 2022

It’s Black Magic

An impressive start to the international rugby season for the mighty All Blacks last Saturday with a comprehensive 42-19 drubbing of Ireland…

Categories

Related Posts

Shopping Basket