Positive results from Plumbing World Cup
Manawatu’s innovative approach to women’s rugby, the Plumbing World Cup, has continued its impressive growth by giving more regions the opportunities to get involved.
The Manawatu Women’s Model not only saw a focus put on developing rugby in Manawatu but included fixtures against the Royal New Zealand Air Force, Wairarapa Bush’s Carterton and finished with a road show to Cooks Garden in Whanganui last weekend.
The Plumbing World Cup, developed by Manawatu Rugby Women’s Development Manager Marina Canterbury, saw players from all clubs attend a training session once a week at the Massey University Sports and Rugby Institute where they trained together under the coaching of their club coaches, the Cyclones coaching staff and Manawatu Rugby Union ’s stable of resource coaches.
It was designed to expediate the growth of women’s rugby and foster more evenly matched games than the often-lop-sided club competition.
After an initial three weeks of trainings, players were split into evenly matched sides for matches over six weekends.
Canterbury said it was great to be able to share the model with the neighbouring regions.
“It is a great opportunity for the players to be exposed to playing against other people rather than just their mates,” she said.
“It also helps other unions build women’s rugby. We can build our own, but we need our neighbouring unions to be strong as well. A lot of girls from these regions come to Manawatu to study so to expose to rugby is key.”
The model gave players just picking up the game opportunity to play alongside Black Ferns like Selica Winiata, Kristina Sue, Canterbury and Sosoli Talawadua.
She said the model created a positive atmosphere for players of all levels.
“The biggest thing about the women’s models is that the girls are able to come to a training where there are more just a couple players who turn up like most of their club trainings. There are good resource coaches and players like Selica who have the experience and knowledge. They get to learn from the best while still having fun.”
With the addition of the Manawatu Women’s High-Performance squad this year, the senior players were leaned on to help develop their younger peers with a number of the region’s top schoolgirls players given dispensation to be involved in the programme as well.
Canterbury said it was special to watch the development of the younger players in the model as they grew in confidence.
“It has given the schoolgirls who were playing to have the confidence to take on some of the Black Ferns girls one-on-one. They don’t look out of place and that is exciting for the future for rugby in the region.”
Women's rugby now turns its attentions to the Prue Christie Cup as teams battle for club pride.