North Otago women dig deep to post another victory

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North Otago showed courage and conviction to come from behind and post a second straight win in the Dunedin premier women’s club rugby competition on Saturday.

In horrible conditions at Centennial Park, North Otago beat Alhambra-Union 39-27.

The much-improved Dunedin club raced to a 12-0 lead as the home side took a while to warm up.

But the rest of the game was dominated by North Otago as it adjusted to the wet ball and slippery field, scored some fine tries, and built on a 24-12 halftime lead to bank maximum points.

An intriguing newcomer to the side is schoolgirl Haroku Tomita, and the wiry flanker helped herself to two tries.

Fellow flanker Morgan Henderson and prop Ngaire Fariu were other forwards who got across the line, while backs Paige Ayres and Lucy Crabbe – on leave from the army, and one of three sisters to have played for North Otago – also scored tries.

Catherine Wilcock only managed to convert one of the tries, while the scoring was completed by a penalty try.

Coach Mark Wilson said Crabbe, Henderson and Lini Kaufana were among the players to shine, but it was a fine all-round team performance.

North Otago plays Pirates, who beat University in last year’s final, in Dunedin this weekend.