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'Some big mahi' - Meet New Zealand’s most northerly women’s rugby team

In their inaugural season, the country’s most northerly women’s rugby team is crushing all comers.

But for member of the Te Rarawa rugby team, playing together is about more than winning.

Te Rawara is based in Ahipara, at the bottom of 90 Mile Beach, and this is the first season that the area’s women have fielded a team.

They have blended the enthusiasm of newcomers with the experience of internationals, offering a pathway for the younger generation.

For those involved, however, connecting with each other and their rivals is as important as how they go on the field.

“A lot of them have been putting in some big mahi into their kaupapa, and for us, it’s not just about rugby, it’s about building wāhine in our community to be community leaders,” Rawinia Everitt, who won the women’s World Cup with the Black Ferns in 2017, told TVNZ1's Te Karere.

They have recently received new uniforms, and club president Brenda Waaka says there is a new buzz around the club and community.

“It’s a big boost to the club, it puts the men out there harder because the women will win all their games, and it’s just brought a different view for our spectators and supporters.”

They are currently carving up the competition, having won one match by over 100 points, and there are hopes their efforts will drive further female participation in Northland.

"I think we're seeing there's a pathway now for our girls to be successful in rugby. It's a career now, it's something they can progress to," says club member Jacqui Brown.

"When we've got under-15s that are transitioning into under-18s next year, then they'll be going into the womens, we can see that women's rugby is in very good stead and it's going to go on for a long time." 

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Te Rawara is based in Ahipara, at the bottom of 90 Mile Beach, and this is the first season that the area’s women have fielded a team. Source: Te Karere


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