Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Kiwi Ferns join Nines party


September 16, 2014

Kiwi Ferns join Nines party

When Kiwi Ferns star Sarina Fiso attended the Dick Smith NRL Auckland Nines this year, six-year-old son Luke scored a prized souvenir – the trademark headgear belonging to Penrith five-eighth Jamie Soward.

“We ordered gold tickets that got us seats by the players’ tunnel,” recalls Fiso. “It was a great experience and we were looking forward to going again next year.”

But the veteran international will have an added incentive to attend in January, now that the NZ national women’s team have been confirmed for a televised three-game nines series against their Australian rivals as part of the 2015 event.

The women’s game enjoyed centre-stage at the Auckland Nines draw in Sydney today, with Fiso (32) and Jillaroos counterpart Maddie Studdon assisting with the ceremony.

Health and fitness allowing, she is a fairly good bet to be out in the middle of the Eden Park, doing battle with the Aussies.

“I never dreamed we would get this kind of opportunity, especially as part of an NRL tournament, with so many of the game’s top players involved,” she says.

“It’s like a dream come true. When I heard, I was overcome with excitement at the thought of playing in that packed stadium.

“We don’t get too many chances to come together as a team for international fixtures, so the girls will be preparing hard to make sure we make the most of this one.”

Despite their relatively low profile on the sporting landscape, the Kiwi Ferns have put together a proud record, based largely on their own hard work and initiative. Moving forward, those efforts will be supported by the NZ Rugby League high performance programme.

The Ferns won three World Cups from 2000-08 and only lost their grip on that trophy when they fell to Australia in last year’s final at Leeds. Fiso has been a part of the last two campaigns, after debuting for the team in 2006.

Those two sides will meet again in 13-a-side action on November 9, when they play a curtain-raiser to the Australia v Toa Samoa Four nations clash in Wollongong, and inclusion in the Nines may be a catalyst to regular trans-Tasman competition.

“Opportunities like these will really help us grow the women’s game in New Zealand,” says Fiso. “Hopefully, we can inspire more girls to take up the game and continue the tradition we’ve begun.”

Today's draw placed the hometown Vodafone Warriors in a pool that also includes Wests Tigers, Canberra Raiders and Gold Coast Titans, none of whom made the NRL playoffs this season.

A feature of the draw is the renaming of pools after Auckland tourist landmarks - Rangitoto, Waiheke, Hunua & Piha.

The men's pools are:

Rangitoto - Parramatta Eels, Manly Sea Eagles, Newcastle Knights & St George Illawarra Dragons

Waiheke - Melbourne Storm, North Queensland Cowboys, Penrith Panthers & South Sydney Rabbitohs

Hunua - Wests Tigers, Vodafone Warriors, Canberra Raiders & Gold Coast Titans

Piha - Sydney Roosters, Brisbane Broncos, Canterbury Bulldogs & Cronulla Sharks

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Howard Davis Review: A Bigger Splash - Te Papa Celebrates Twenty Years

Considering the available resources, this is a decidedly hit-and-miss affair, mainly due to some highly questionable curatorial decisions. In their overweening wish to "push boundaries," Charlotte Davy and Megan Tamati-Quennell have made a number of serious miscalculations by ignoring a basic rule - keep it simple. More>>

Howard Davis Review: Smelling the Merchandise - The Death of Stalin

Having satirised British democracy with such devastating effect, Armando Iannucci has now turned his lens on the dangers inherent in Soviet authoritarianism. Every gag is girdled with fear and the bleak humour is so pitch black it could only have been pumped from deep underground. More>>

Howard Davis Review: The Creole Stylings of Cécile McLorin Salvant

"You only get a singer like this once in a generation or two," commented Wynton Marsalis, who has repeatedly hired her to front his jazz orchestra and mounted a 25 foot high portrait of her on the exterior of Lincoln Center. “She radiates authority. She has poise, elegance, soul, humour, sensuality, power, virtuosity, range, insight, intelligence, depth, and grace.” More>>

Max Rashbrooke Review: The King's Singers and Voices New Zealand

To be good at one thing is impressive; to be so versatile across a range of genres is truly exceptional. The latest incarnation of this six-strong male singing group includes Kiwi Christopher Bruerton, and it was a delight to hear him sing the solo on the achingly beautiful My Love Is like a Red, Red Rose. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland