Wini­ata on fire at Levin sevens

Horowhenua Chronicle - - SPORT -

A home-grown rugby ta­lent showed all her class at the Cen­tral Zone sevens tour­na­ment at Play­ford Park in Levin at the week­end, as the women’s com­pe­ti­tion stole the show.

Sel­ica Wini­ata, 32, called on all her in­ter­na­tional ex­pe­ri­ence in help­ing her Manawatu¯ team win a women’s divi­sion that was equally as skil­ful and ex­cit­ing to watch as the men’s group.

In what was a great ad­ver­tise­ment for women’s rugby, with tele­vi­sion crews stream­ing it live, the former Fair­field School stu­dent opened up her bag of tricks in a high­qual­ity dis­play.

Wini­ata was ex­cited about the fu­ture of women’s rugby and said that while prov­inces like Horowhenua weren’t rep­re­sented at the week­end, with only Manawatu¯ , Welling­ton, Hawke’s Bay and Taranaki en­ter­ing, it was only a mat­ter of time.

“The game is cer­tainly grow­ing and the skill level is out­stand­ing now. There were some re­ally close games and that’s what you want,” she said.

There was no rea­son why Horowhenua-Ka¯ piti could not en­ter a women’s team for next sea­son’s com­pe­ti­tion.

“To be fair it comes down to en­thu­si­asm, re­sources and time...but the ta­lent will be there,” she said.

“There is so much op­por­tu­nity for these girls.”

Wini­ata had played in­ter­na­tion­ally in both seven-aside and 15-a-side forms of the game, and said to rep­re­sent her coun­try in any form of the game was a dream.

She had played ev­ery sea­son since she was 13 years old and has no plans to hang up her boots in the near fu­ture.

Manawatu¯ beat Welling­ton 22-10 in the fi­nal. The chal­lenge now for Manawatu¯ would be to take a step up at the na­tional tour­na­ment in Tau­ranga on De­cem­ber 15,16.

Mean­while, the Horowhen­u­aKa¯ piti men’s team failed to qual­ify for the na­tional tour­na­ment in what was a tough pool.

The teams that did qual­ify (in seed­ing or­der) were Welling­ton, Hawke’s Bay, Manawatu¯ ,

Taranaki and Wairarapa Bush.

Welling­ton beat Hawke’s Bay 14-7 in the men’s fi­nal.

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Sel­ica Wini­ata was a stand-out player at the Cen­tral Re­gions Sevens rugby tour­na­ment held at Levin at the week­end.

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