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