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The Hauraki North Diamonds head coach said it was “massive” the team made the finals in their debut season. Photo: SUPPLIED

Diamonds shine bright in debut season

Hauraki North Rugby Club’s first ever women’s team, the Diamonds, went from a 30-point drubbing in its opening test to reaching the finals in its debut season.
The 35-women team placed second in the Waikato Rugby Wahine Championship after falling short in the final to Taupiri, 17-5, on May 27.

Head coach Brendan Clark told The Profile it was “massive” for a fresh team like the Diamonds to make the final round.
“We started off our preseason against Putaruru, they play in the premier competition, and we went down by about 30 points but it was a lot of the girls’ first time playing rugby,” he said.
“Then we got into the competition [on April 15] and we lost our first game to Taupiri but then managed to pick up our first win the next week against Matamata.
“It was a very close competition throughout the year which made it really exciting and challenging, and the girls got a crack at the final which they really deserved.”
Brendan thanked the rugby club for its “outstanding” support for its wāhine.
“It was outstanding for the club to be right behind it from the get go… they renovated one of their changing rooms to be just for the ladies which they really appreciated,” he said.
“Every Wednesday they would put on a feed for the ladies after training and one of the coolest days was we had ladies day, where they sold out of tickets and the club put on a really special day.
“We probably played our best game there at home and we won 29-0 against Waitete, which was the biggest winning margin of any team in the competition this year and the only team who kept another team at zero.”
Brendan said the Diamonds could be forever and the team’s overall performance was a “positive sign” for women’s rugby in Thames Valley.
“Hopefully a few of the other clubs can see what Hauraki North have done and can hopefully follow suit in the next couple of years.
“I think it would be really cool for the girls to continue being able to play competitive rugby here, or in the Waikato, but also I think it’s important that we try and grow our own competition in the Valley so there could be a women’s competition in the region itself.”