With less than 12 weeks to go to the World Cup, The Farah Palmer Cup has kicked off.
New Zealand’s inter-provincial tournament – the Farah Palmer Cup – kicked off this weekend with three games in the Premiership.
Seven teams will play in the Premiership this year, with another six in the Championship. The tournament ends on 9th September
Champions Waikato rallied from an 18-5 halftime deficit to overcome newly promoted 2021 championship winners Manawatū 33-24. They had started brightly when Renee Holmes scored a try, retrieving a precise Chelsea Semple chip kick. Manawatū replied with Carys Dallinger outpacing the defence and fullback Selica Winiata poaching an intercept and scampering 60-metres clear.
However the Waikato pack took charge in the second-Half, gradually breaking down the spirited Cyclones. Loosehead prop Awhina Tangen-Wainohu had an outstanding game and scored two tries with displays of brute force. Rianna Aspinall used hr power to shrug off multiple tacklers over the line in the 69th minute..
2021 runners-up Canterbury also began with a win, 43-5 against Wellington with the contest effectively over in the first dozen minutes. Canterbury scored three tries and led 17-0.
Rosie Kelly was in the thick of the action profiting from a short side break by halfback Kendra Cocksegde and then regathering her own chip and chase in a 60-metre dash. The dominance of the Canterbury pack was emphatic. Lock Chelesa Bremner scored a try when Wellington was pushed off their own ball five-metres out from the line. Earlier prop Amy Rule crashed through the Wellington defence like a bull in a china shop to set up Bremner.
For the Pride, replacement wing Ayesha Leti-I’iga scored an obligatory consolation try. The Black Ferns flyer making an encouraging return from injury.
In the final game Auckland produced a strong first-half, leading 27-8 at the break. Hooker Saphire Abraham opened the scoring quickly when she barged over from a rolling maul.
Opponents Counties Manukau’s resistance reduced Auckland to a long spell on defence. The Heat were eventually rewarded when wing Lavinia Tauhalaliku collected a low pass from fullback Emily Kitson.
Black Ferns No.8 Charmaine McMenamin was in rampant form. She made a 40-metre break to create a try for wing Katelyn Vaha'akolo and then threw an offload in traffic to assist second-five Patricia Maliepo.
Maliepo was incisive throughout and combined effectively with Black Ferns skipper Ruahei Demant in the unfamiliar position of second five eighth. Vaha'akolo had a fine debut and lock Eloise Blackwell was industrious.
Anastasia Mamea was powerful at number eight for Counties. Waikohika Flesher was occasionally elusive and Glory Aiono added impact from the bench.
Canterbury 43 (Rosie Kelly 2, Chelesa Bremner 2, Alana Bremner, Grace Steinmetz, Martha Mataele tries, Kendra Cocksedge 3 con, Isabella Waterman con) Wellington 5 (Ayesha Leti-I’iga try)
Waikato 33 (Awhina Tangen-Wainohu 2, Renee Holmes, Leata Puni Lio, Rianna Aspinall tries, Holmes 4 con) Manawatū 24 (Carys Dallinger, Selica Winiata tries; Dallinger 4 pen, con)
Auckland 39 (Patricia Maliepo 3, Katelyn Vaha'akolo 2, Saphire Abraham, Ruahei Demant 2 con, 1 pen, Maliepo con) Counties Manukau 20 (Lavinia Tauhalaliku, Glory Aiono, Jaymie Kolose tries; Hazel Tubic pen, con)