Taranaki’s golden girls: ‘The Games were just awe­some’

Taranaki Daily News - - Front Page - CHRISTINA PERSICO

The Broughtons and the Blythes were among the crowd of New Zealand fans cheer­ing them­selves half hoarse at the Com­mon­wealth Games women’s Sev­ens fi­nal.

The fam­i­lies of wing Michaela Blyde and back Gayle Broughton, both from Taranaki, at­tended the fi­nal at Robina Sta­dium on the Gold Coast on Sun­day af­ter­noon.

They could hardly con­tain their ex­cite­ment when Kelly Bra­zier made a last-minute dash for an ex­tra-time gold medal vic­tory.

‘‘It was the long­est twenty min­utes of my life,’’ said Blyde’s mum, Cherry, who lives in Lep­per­ton.

‘‘We were out of our seats a lot... there were times where ei­ther team could have won it.

‘‘Every­one was jump­ing up and down and yelling... we ran the 70 me­tres with her.’’

She said there were a lot of New Zealan­ders in the crowd and plenty of ban­ter along the way.

‘‘It was Ki­wis against Aussies in the crowd even, let alone on the field.’’

She said it was great to see the team come through and win, es­pe­cially af­ter all the ad­ver­sity they had been through with ill­ness, quar­an­tine and then in­juries in the lead up to the fi­nal it­self, with Blyde need­ing six stitches af­ter a knock and Tyla Nathan-Wong be­ing ruled out with a neck in­jury.

‘‘We were just so happy for them with what they’d gone through to get there.’’

Gayle Broughton’s nan, Patsy, who lives in Ha¯wera, said she didn’t have the words to de­scribe the ex­pe­ri­ence of be­ing there.

‘‘The peo­ple there, the games were just awe­some, awe­some to watch,’’ she said.

‘‘I was yelling and that but I’ve still got my voice, but some of them haven’t.

‘‘We were off our seats and the feel­ing was elec­tric.’’

She said the fam­i­lies were more in­volved than in pre­vi­ous Games.

‘‘We were all in­vited back to the New Zealand House where the girls that night had a cel­e­bra­tion with their medals.’’

She said she still gets ner­vous watch­ing her grand­daugh­ter play.

‘‘She went down in a tackle and put the ball down and it went for­ward, and we all thought ‘oh no’. We closed our eyes; we didn’t want to see it,’’ she said.

‘‘Af­ter that mis­take that Aus­tralia made, we had hope that the girls are go­ing to get this.’’

She said the game was a high­light she would al­ways re­mem­ber.

‘‘It’s trea­sured be­cause of get­ting the gold medal.

‘‘I knew her feel­ings when she was in Rio when they got sil­ver; I know she doesn’t like los­ing.’’

And Gayle Broughton hasn’t left Taranaki be­hind.

‘‘She’s had great help in her rugby days from the TRFU... I know she’s the Naki girl and she al­ways will trea­sure that.’’

‘‘I was yelling and that but I’ve still got my voice, but some of them haven’t. We were off our seats and the feel­ing was elec­tric.’’

Gayle Broughton’s nan, Patsy

PHOTO: ROBERT CHARLES/STUFF

Women’s rugby sev­ens player, Gayle Broughton, from South Taranaki, rep­re­sented NZ at the Rio Olympic Games. Her grand­mother, Patsy, is her num­ber one fan.

PHOTO: GETTY IM­AGES

The New Zealand team cel­e­brate win­ning gold in the Women’s Gold Medal Fi­nal match be­tween Aus­tralia and New Zealand dur­ing Rugby Sev­ens on day 11 of the Gold Coast 2018 Com­mon­wealth Games at Robina Sta­dium on Aus­tralia’s Gold Coast.

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