Aotearoa Queenz are back to the top of the pile at Harmony Cup, maintaining their unbeaten record but not without some stellar performances from their opposition, particularly the brave Hawaiki Roa in the final.
With Natives United shocking many, to the Mahuika causing upsets and the Taranaki ladies stamping their claim, the women’s division was amazing to watch.
And although there were many players who could be picked in both sides from all the Women’s 10 teams and almost 30 games, the votes and opinions have been tallied and would like to present the NRL WA Harmony Cup 7 women’s team of the tournament.
The Women’s side, is a testament to not just speed and devastating try scorers, but the women who allow the speed women to make it all happen, along with the ability to keep your head when the games are on the line.
- Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke – Aotearoa Queenz – New Zealand
Player of the grand final, and a nightmare all weekend long. Her power, game sense and ability to punch a hole in the defenders was second to none, and she always left a trail of beaten defenders in her wake. And she is probably the scariest woman in female rugby league to run directly at, with her power hitting in defence. An amazing talent.
- Anneka Stephens – Aotearoa Queenz – New Zealand – Captain – 2nd Selection
Don’t need to say much here. “Neeks” just oozes class. Fresh off her turn captaining her home nation, she flew back into Perth and took charge of the field like only she can. With some scary talent around her, she just makes it look even easier, while her penchant for working hard in defence suits the 9s style perfectly, where the best defensive sides usually win out.
- Ariana Ruru-Hinaki – Aotearoa Queenz – New Zealand
Ari is just going from strength to strength. A diminutive but powerful runner, if you watch the games, she just always ends up near or around the ball. Always seemingly in good position, her vocal game is much stronger than previous years, and actually contains some serious aggression in her ball running and tackling style. A smart ball player.
- Taneka McCormick – Natives United – Indigenous
The bolter on our list today, Taneka had never played a game of tackle rugby league until Harmony 9s. And she was an absolute star for the Indigenous Ladies, who shocked some of their more fancied rivals over the weekend. Possessing great speed, balance and evasive skills, she gassed her way to numerous tries. Just shades team mates Georgia Butt and Andie Payne in this side.
- Turuti Galiki-Koiatu – Aotearoa Queenz – New Zealand
Speed, acceleration, more speed, more acceleration. Watching Galiki-Koiatu play is like watching a 4x100m relay. She just has massive burst of speed, seperated by small slower breaks, before she puts on another massive burst. Great footwork and ability to see the game well, shes an astute ball player as well.
- Josephine Maejiirs – Western Fijian Civa – Fiji
Tough as nails, with great natural ability and understanding of the game of the rugby league, Josephine was a beacon of strength and calm for the Civa for the weekend. One of the real old school mix it players, she reveled in the contact side of the game, which is still very much needed in the 9 a side format of the game. Fit and always looking relaxed, she belongs out on that field.
- Shelbi Rangi-Szabo – Taranaki – New Zealand
A force of nature on the flank, Shelbi was another of the breakout players from the Harmony 9s. A part of the brash Taranaki women’s side, she put on a clinic in some games, with her speed, footwork and evasive skills causing players to grab at thin air. A natural try scorer and dreadful match up one on one, she is still very young and could be anything.
- Nicole Ledington – Hawaiki Roa – Maori – 3rd Selection
Basically one of the best players of the whole tournament, her ability to lead is growing by the day. A great ball runner, setup player, with a very good kicking game, she led the Roa around the field with a measure beyond her years over the weekend. What also stands out is her defensive ability. Not scared to do the dirty work, her one on one tackles continually saved her side.
- Trilleen Pomare – Aotearoa Queenz – New Zealand – 2nd Selection
The free running football that epitomizes the way that 9 a side rugby league is played, is personified in the dangerous Pomare. Another member of the victorious Queenz side, she is made for this type of rugby league. Big, fast, strong and aggresive, with wicked footwork and one of the foremost playmakers in our competition, makes all the ingredients for an amazing 9s player.
Coach – Dale Stringer & Dan Manning – Hawaiki Roa & Natives United
The coaches couldn’t be split at this years Harmony Cup so both are in the side.
Dale and Hawaiki Roa knew they had to really turn it up in the Grand Final to beat the Queenz, and geez after a 0-0 halftime score it looked like they might get there. They ulitmately fell short but Stringer and his charges can be proud of providing a real scare for the tournament favs.
Manning took a thrown together side, consisting of not alot of experience or big names in the rugby league scene, and forced their way into the quarterfinals on Sunday. Although ultimately falling short of a semi final birth, it was a great team effort that gets Dan on this list.
Congratulations to all the above, but again this list could have had 100 players on it. Well done to all players over the weekend, and we hope to see you back in Harmony Cup 7.
|Women’s Harmony Cup 7 Team Of Tournament|
|1||Hera-Barb Malcolm Heke||Aotearoa Queenz|
|2||Anneka Stephens||Aotearoa Queenz|
|3||Ariana Ruru-Hinaki||Aotearoa Queenz|
|4||Taneka McCormick||Natives United|
|5||Turiti Galiki-Koiatu||Aotearoa Queenz|
|6||Josephine Maejiirs||Western Fijian Civa|
|8||Nicole Ledington||Hawaiki Roa|
|9||Trilleen Pomare||Aotearoa Queenz|
|C||Dale Stringer/Dan Manning||Hawaiki Roa/Natives United|