Touch team sec­ond in Fiji

Marlborough Express - - SPORT - PETER JONES

The Marl­bor­ough women’s touch team came within a whisker of claim­ing the Kava Cup in Fiji last week.

They reached the fi­nal of the Pa­cific Touch Fes­ti­val in Den­erau with three good wins on the first day, then took on 2Fresh Suva in the de­cider, which went right down to the wire.

Although Marl­bor­ough led 3-2 at half­time 2Fresh bat­tled back in hot, sticky con­di­tions to level the scores 4-4 at full­time. Both teams then en­tered into a drop-off to de­cide the trophy win­ner with 2Fresh scor­ing af­ter three min­utes to take the hon­ours.

In their first game Marl­bor­ough raced into ac­tion, rack­ing up a 9-4 win over

2Fresh Suva with a pol­ished sec­ond half dis­play. Next up they pre­vailed 13-0 over Nadi, who had only the min­i­mum play­ers and paid the price in the test­ing con­di­tions.

Their third game was against Samoa Ti­tans, a 4-2 win over a more phys­i­cal out­fit see­ing Marl­bor­ough into the fol­low­ing day’s semis as top qual­i­fier.

Un­for­tu­nately their semi was not played due to a no-show from their ri­vals, mean­ing Marl­bor­ough went into the fi­nal against 2Fresh with­out a warmup match on the sec­ond day.

Amore con­trolled ef­fort from 2Fresh saw them keep the trophy in Fiji, but Marl­bor­ough ac­quit­ted them­selves well, both on and off the field at a tour­na­ment that is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity. Next Year Marl­bor­ough hope to re­turn, along with a men’s side to con­test the Fiji Cup, which was won this year by Hawke’s Bay in a classy show of skill and speed.

The Marl­bor­ough side praised the help of San­ford Ltd, May­field Mo­tor­world and Kirk Ni­cholas Builder for sup­port­ing their trip.

The Marl­bor­ough team com­prised: Katie Bradley, Cara Wi­apo, Lucy Smith, Laura Mur­phy, Jenna Gil­bert, Emma Paaka, Hana Wil­son, Pippa An­drews, Jessie Peat, Daina Cros­bie, Emma Moore, Rosie Buchanan Brown, Tash Ford. Coach: Todd Ni­cholas. Man­ager: Anna Archie. Tour man­ager: Toni Robin­son.

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