The first all-premiership clashes in New Zealand’s Farah Palmer Cup were slightly overshadowed by a special achievement by one player this weekend.
Round two of the Farah Palmer this weekend, and the main headline was the 100th appearance of Auckland’s Emma Jensen – the first player to reach that mark in the competition’s history.The former Black Fern (49 caps) played 24 matches for Waikato from 1999 before moving to Auckland in 2004, since when she has also won 10 provincial titles with the club.
Emma Jensen is set to be joined in the 100-club later in the season by teammate Fiao’o Fa’amausili who currently has 97 provincial caps.
Jensen’s history-making fixture saw her team come up against traditional rivals Canterbury, who were despatched with relative ease, 41-12, after a less impressive opening day 10-10 draw against second tier Bay of Plenty.
However, champions Counties Manukau continue to set the pace with another maximum points 48-0 win in the against.
Manawatu, after sitting out the opening day, started their campaign with a 35-27 win over Wellington. Those two teams, and Waikato, share third place with five points each.
In the second level Championship Bay of Plenty built on their draw with Auckland with a 24-10 win over Hawke's Bay while Otago recorded a first win, 82-0 over newcomers Tasman, who may have a long few weeks ahead of them. Centre Tina Moata'ane ran amok at Logan Park, scoring five of her team's 12 tries.
Next week sees more Black Ferns return to the field, many having been rested for the opening games. Canterbury in particular will welcome back Kendra Cocksedge’s after a difficult opening fortnight.
Counties Heat 48 (Arihiana Marino 2, Timara Leaf, Utumalama Atonio, Katie Matau, Stacey Brown, Aroha Heta tries; Hazel Tubic 5 con, pen) Waikato 0. HT: 29-0.
Auckland Storm 41 (Hasting Leiataua 2, Joanna Fanene, Moana Finelevi-Aso 2, Mele Hufanga, Charlene Gubb tries; Emma Jensen 3 con) Canterbury 12 (Phillipa Carr, Olivia McGoverne tries; McGoverne con ). HT: 24-7
Hawke's Bay Tuis 10 (Yarnisae Whaitiri, Natalie Cotton tries) Bay of Plenty Volcanix 24 (Luka Connor 2, Jade Tuilaepa, Aryahn Clarke tries; Shaye Whareaoere 2 con).
Otago Spirit 82 (Cheyenne Cunningham, Greer Muir 2, Tina Moata'ane 5, Angie Sisifa 2, Morgan Henderson, Leyhana van Vugt; Liv Waldron 9 con, Sheree Hume 2 con) Tasman Makos 0.
Wellington Pride 27 (Jayne Bryce, Vaine Marsteres, Gina Williamson, Saua Ualesi, Troy Svanborg tries; Bryce con) Manawatu Cyclones 35 (Ruci Malanicagi 2, Selica Winiata, Kristina Sue, Lauren Balsillie tries; Lizzie Goulden 5 con). HT: 5-21