Wahine shines at rugby as tane struggles

Adam Gifford

Shyla Taiapa | NPEC Women’s Rugby Loyal

Funding of roles:

Rugby is experiencing a golden age in Tairawhiti – among the wahine.

Rugby is experiencing a golden age in Tairawhiti – among the wahine.

Ngāti Porou East Coast Women’s Rugby will field four teams this year and recruit new players all the time.

It comes as the men’s team struggles after winning the Meads Cup in 2012.

Organizer Shyla Taiapa says her husband was part of that team, and it inspired her to put on the boots for the 2013 season.

The women’s game sat dormant for a few years until she assembled a team of seven for a curtain raiser at a Heartland game in 2018, and the competition has been growing ever since.

“The wahine are the backbone of men’s competition. The wahine is the ringawera, we are the ones who take the money at the door, we are the ones who do the cleaning afterwards and also the trainers for our babies,” she says.

Shyla Taiapa says it’s great to see up to 100 women playing rugby every weekend, and they are also aware that they are role models for their whānau to be physically active and healthy.


About the author