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Inside Story of Canterbury Secondary School Girls - South Island Champs
Canterbury Secondary School Girls 2015
South Island Tournament 27th – 29th September at Kettle Park
2015 was the start of a new era for the Canterbury Secondary School Girls with only eight returning from 2014 and a new coaching and management team.
The Girls headed to Dunedin for the South Island Secondary Schools tournament after two tough warm-up games. An inexperienced squad that was starting to show a lot of potential.
This year’s tournament was very tough with five shortened games in three days. In their way were home team Otago, first time entrants Tasman, a powerful Hanan Shield Districts and previous years winners Southland looking to win their fourth in a row.
Day one included games against Tasman in the morning followed by Southland in the afternoon. The girls produced a strong first half performance against Tasman effectively closing out game by halftime.
The Southland game was a big increase in intensity. The girls found themselves down 14 nil by half time. A big half time team talk saw them come out fighting and show a big never give up attitude to even up the scores 14 all. In the final minutes both teams had opportunities to take out the game but such was the intensity of the defense by both teams that mistakes were forced.
Day two saw one game against Otago who had lost both of their games. A very slow start and mistake ridden first half saw the girls leading 19 nil at halve time. Some stern words at the break from the coaches saw some high speed and accurate rugby resulting in a further 45 points being added in the second half.
On the final day the equation was simple, get a bonus point against the Hanan Districts team and they would play the final against Southland. The loss of two loose forwards from head knocks was going to challenge the depth, fitness and character of the team after two hard days of rugby. The game against Hanan Districts resulted in a 17 – 12 loss. Hanan Districts were a very good team with a big strong forward pack. They prevented the Canterbury girls from getting into their game but enough was done to get the bonus point required to play the final.
The final against Southland was a fitting end to a very good tournament. The improvement made by the Canterbury team was remarkable and a real credit the girls and the coaches. The final was an intense game and a very high standard of rugby. Canterbury set the pace but each time they scored Southland replied. 7 nil, 7 all, 14 – 7, 14 all. All tied up going in to the final minutes, step up Liv McGroverne to slot a penalty to break the deadlock.
Canterbury 2015 Champions 17 – 14.
The result was outstanding achievement considering the number of new and young players to the squad this season. The result was built on a team effort and an outstanding culture built in the squad. Well done to the coaches and seniors girls who lead the way.
Congratulations to Millie Brooker, Julie Briden, Rosie Kelly, Taylor Aldridge, Liv McGoverne and Becky Davidson who were selected for the South Island Tournament Team.
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