Kiwis claim Waitangi Day spoils
RELIEF was etched on the Kiwis' faces after they prevailed on Waitangi Day.
The game was littered with bone-jarring defence and slick counter attacking moves throughout, from both sides.
The World led for the majority of the match before fittingly, on their national day, the Kiwis triumphed in the see-sawing match 24-21 much to the "home" crowd's delight.
In the curtain-raiser, it was the Rest of the World ladies who proved too strong for the Kiwi girls, winning in a close game.
"I thought there were better players than me but I suppose I was everywhere; I helped out the boys and showed a bit of urgency with the boys," the inside centre said.
"It was a very good game, both teams were pretty hurt with players being unavailable.
"It could have gone to either team it was very close. It came down to a kick in the end so it was very tight.
"In the past, whenever a team has won, it has been by a big margin, this game was definitely different.
"Everyone on the team was talking about getting the trophy back for the 10-year anniversary.
"We haven't had it for a few years so that was the main goal."
"You play this game on Waitangi Day for your family, your friends, yourself, for the community… everyone is here for you," he said.
"Any haka you do for your family and where you are from to show off your heritage.
"You wear your heart on your sleeve, I love doing the haka, it is part of my culture and something I am proud of and grown up doing."
Organiser Zak Costar said the contest between the sides and the spirit it was played in made for a perfect day of rugby.
"It really was a great game, so even, the Kiwis were behind the whole game too," Costar said.
"There was a lot of relief from the Kiwi boys, taking back the trophy really meant a lot, some of the boys were quite emotional.
"It was actually one of the best team performances from the Kiwis I have seen.
"And the Rest of the World nearly won it... just a great game.