Maynard stands tall despite loss

GISBORNE-born and bred Nita Maynard did herself proud despite the Kiwi Ferns falling at the last hurdle in the Women’s Rugby League Cup final on Saturday.

Australia’s Jillaroos beat their New Zealand arch-rivals 23-16 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in the curtain-raiser to the men’s world cup final between Australia and England.

Sydney-based Maynard, as she has done throughout the tournament, came on from the bench at dummy half.

The diminutive No.14 continued to show that despite being one of the smallest players on the field, she holds no fear in the defensive side of the game. She came up with one superb tackle that probably saved a try and was prominent in getting good ball away from the play-the-ball area.

The home side, however, made more of their chances to lead 12-10 at halftime, a score that did not tell the tale of New Zealand’s dominance of possession and territory.

They were unable to turn that into more points through a combination of errors and not sending the ball wide more often, their big forwards instead trying too many one-up runs.

Star winger Honey Hireme was not used enough although when she did get the ball, she made big gains and ended up scoring two tries in quick succession (13th and 20th minutes).

The Jillaroos extended their lead to 12 points in the second half, helped by their opponents’ mistakes and ill-discipline.

The Kiwi Ferns dug deep late in the game with a try to Raecene McGregor and had their chances to close the gap even more only for Caitlin Moran to pot a fatal field goal.

Kiwi Ferns captain Laura Mariu and Hireme indicated they would be retiring after this game.

Hireme ended the tournament with 13 tries while Mariu led the New Zealand team in metres gained (130) and tackles made (28) in the final.

Mariu played in five world cup tournaments, winning three of them.

Before the final, Kiwis coach Tony Benson talked about the huge sacrifices his team made to get to the final, including not being paid, training three times and week and travelling long distances to get to training.

That was in contrast to the financially supported Jillaroos, who had contracts, high performance programmes and regular team camps.

“They’re superb,” Benson said of his squad.

“They don’t ask for anything and appreciate everything they’ve got.”


GISBORNE-born and bred Nita Maynard did herself proud despite the Kiwi Ferns falling at the last hurdle in the Women’s Rugby League Cup final on Saturday.

Australia’s Jillaroos beat their New Zealand arch-rivals 23-16 at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium in the curtain-raiser to the men’s world cup final between Australia and England.

Sydney-based Maynard, as she has done throughout the tournament, came on from the bench at dummy half.

The diminutive No.14 continued to show that despite being one of the smallest players on the field, she holds no fear in the defensive side of the game. She came up with one superb tackle that probably saved a try and was prominent in getting good ball away from the play-the-ball area.

The home side, however, made more of their chances to lead 12-10 at halftime, a score that did not tell the tale of New Zealand’s dominance of possession and territory.

They were unable to turn that into more points through a combination of errors and not sending the ball wide more often, their big forwards instead trying too many one-up runs.

Star winger Honey Hireme was not used enough although when she did get the ball, she made big gains and ended up scoring two tries in quick succession (13th and 20th minutes).

The Jillaroos extended their lead to 12 points in the second half, helped by their opponents’ mistakes and ill-discipline.

The Kiwi Ferns dug deep late in the game with a try to Raecene McGregor and had their chances to close the gap even more only for Caitlin Moran to pot a fatal field goal.

Kiwi Ferns captain Laura Mariu and Hireme indicated they would be retiring after this game.

Hireme ended the tournament with 13 tries while Mariu led the New Zealand team in metres gained (130) and tackles made (28) in the final.

Mariu played in five world cup tournaments, winning three of them.

Before the final, Kiwis coach Tony Benson talked about the huge sacrifices his team made to get to the final, including not being paid, training three times and week and travelling long distances to get to training.

That was in contrast to the financially supported Jillaroos, who had contracts, high performance programmes and regular team camps.

“They’re superb,” Benson said of his squad.

“They don’t ask for anything and appreciate everything they’ve got.”


Australia 23 (Isabelle Kelly 2, Caitlin Moran, Elianna Walton tries; Moran 3 goals, fg).
New Zealand 16 (Honey Hireme 2, Raecene McGregor tries; Kimiora Nati 2 goals).
HT: 12-10.

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