Kia Toa, FOB-O set for Prue Christie Cup battle
After last year’s pulsating Prue Christie Cup final, there is plenty of spice in Feilding Old Boys-Oroua and Kia Toa’s rematch as they battle for 2019 honours.
Last year’s final saw FOB-Oroua snatch the title two minutes into referee’s time as Corrineke Windle dotted down on the left wing.
With both sides looking even on paper, a tight-final looks to be on the cards again and after the teams played alongside each other as part of the Plumbing World Cup Women’s Model, the friendly rivalry is sure to resume.
Both teams are missing some key players including Selica Winiata and Crystal Mayes for Kia Toa and Kalyn Takitimu-Cook and Vaine Greig for FOB-Oroua.
Feilding Old Boys-Oroua have been bolster by the availability of New Zealand Sevens representative Rhiarna Ferris.
She will pack down on the openside flank and is in peak fitness having spent the year working under the New Zealand Sevens strength and condition regime.
Ferris played wing in her early years and has spent time at lock so is a handy utility.
Ashleigh Knight will captain the side from lock, while Cyclones flanker Samantha Olsen is packing down at hooker.
Regular halfback Lucy Brown will don the No 10 jersey with retired Black Fern Kristina Sue providing experience from halfback.
Nicola Chase and Lauren Balsillie will be dangerous in the midfield.
Kia Toa have opted for a mixture of youth and experience in their side.
Feilding High School lock Chloe Henderson has been given the starting No 4 jersey ahead of Cyclone lock Mahalia Polson.
Manu Sina captain Marilyn Live is a dangerous ball carrier at No 8 while there are few loose forwards who get through more work than Sam Tipene.
Carys Dallinger will be the key to the Kia Toa backline at No 10. Dallinger is a dangerous runner and will be looking to take advantages of mismatches in the defensive line.
Outside her, Kia Toa three powerful ball-carriers in Whanda and Maggie Leota in the midfield and Ruby Finau at fullback.
Kia Toa have some great depth on the bench with Sequita Hemingway, Polson and Tiana Davidson.
As a sign of the strength of the schoolgirls competition, both teams have players still at high school in their sides with Kia Toa playing Feilding High School pair Henderson and Lily-Jade Murray and FOB-Oroua with Manukuira quartet Kaipo Olsen-Baker, Ivana Samani, Isabella Rewiri-Wharerau and Jashana Tehtue-Tetuawiri.