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Cory Middleton breaks through Waitete defence. Photo: SUPPLIED/DIAMONDS

Diamond-studded redemption for Hauraki North

The Hauraki North Diamonds headed out on the road this week to Te Kuiti, to play against the Waitete Women’s team. Having come off the back of two close losses, this was a must win game for the Diamonds if they were to keep their hopes of a top four position alive.

While the Waitete ladies, hungry for their first win of the season, came out with a sustained strong attack. A dropped ball metres from the Diamonds try line saw centre Carmen Samson jumping on the loose ball and offloading to fullback Natasha Forsythe who ran the length of the field to score the first points of the game, with halfback Josey Hansen adding the conversion.
A string of penalties against the Diamonds and some strong pick and go work from the Te Kuiti-based team saw them cross the line not long after. However, the Hauraki Taimana regrouped and scored two more tries before the half-time break through co-captain Tiare Dixon and young winger Naketa-Rose Tauatevalu.

The second half once again saw a strong passage of attack from Waitete, but the Diamonds weren’t without their opportunities. A fantastic steal from prop Beady Williams-Rikiriki saw flanker Chloe Burgess beat five defenders down the sideline, only to have the ball knocked out from her arms as she crossed over the try line.
It was Waitete, however, that scored three unanswered tries, to take a one-point lead with less than 10 minutes to play. This seemed to fire up the Diamonds, who knuckled down and kept fighting to score in the final minute of play with prop Jess Delany getting her first points for the season and Hansen once again adding the conversion. A bit of redemption for last week’s loss in the final minute. Final score 26-20 HN Diamonds.
Forward of the Day performance from English import Phoebe Wickens. Co-Captain Cory Middleton’s excellent attacking and defensive efforts earned her Back of the Day, and a solid 80 minute effort from Jess Delany saw her awarded the Forsythe family Player of the Day award.
– Vita Dryden