NO women to battle Pirates

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Confidence, depth, talent _ the North Otago women’s rugby team has plenty going for it this season.
All it needs to do now is turn that into positive results in its second year in the Dunedin premier competition, and the early signs are promising.
North Otago smashed Alhambra-Union, the side it lost to in last year’s quarterfinals, 62-5 in a pre-season game last weekend.
The full season opener is against Pirates at Dunedin’s Hancock Park this weekend, and it will provide an immediate gauge of how the Oamaru-based team is tracking.
Pirates is the powerhouse of Otago women’s rugby, having rolled through last season undefeated. North Otago spokeswoman Jessie Waite said Pirates was the team to beat, but North Otago had got closer to the champion than any other team last year and was confident of a good performance this weekend.
An exciting feature of the North Otago side is the presence of five international players.
One of those, American first five-eighth Hannah Stolba, has been made captain. She is joined by fellow American Kristen Shalosky, Canadian Hannah Morgan and English players Aisha Thornton and Kelly Robertson.
North Otago’s first home game is against Southern next weekend.