Hawke's Bay rugby broke the news this week... but thankfully, this headline's a positive one.
The all-girls rugby team Mana Kotiro impressed spectators at Hawke’s Bay’s Wakely Shield tournament this week, making history by becoming the first all-girls team to not only play in the annual tourney - which is made up of mostly boys - but record a win.
And it was an epic win at that - the girls, who range from aged 10 to 12, beat Wairoa 65-0 on Tuesday, after beating favourites Napier West 25-7 the day before.
The talented team was only formed earlier this year, after some of the girls requested an all-wahine team from their Coach Simon Lord.
Lord proposed the idea to tournament-founder Bas Wakely, Newshub reports, and clearly, it was the right decision.
"I sat down and had a talk with the girls and said, 'What do we need to do to get more girls involved?'" Lord told AM.
"The girls all said, 'Simon, we've got no issues playing against the boys, we just don’t like playing with the boys because they don’t share the ball. They think they're better than us.'”
He continued, "The girls have proven that maybe the boys need to take a look and realise - give the girls the ball.
“They're just as good, just as physical, just as mentally strong and they've proven that over the last three days."
While the girls just missed out on getting into the semi-finals, it’s sounding like they’re the favourites to take out the Leahy Plate - awarded to the top team of the bottom four teams.
Either way - coach Lord is immensely proud of what the fresh-on-the-scene team has achieved this week.
"A lot has been focused on the result on Tuesday [win] but even on Monday, we faced two of the tournament favourites and the girls put out phenomenal performances and showed real grit to stay in the fight the whole way through.
"Being a part of a new team, they've had to build the culture from the ground up and be the pillars of what this team stands for.
"But definitely the biggest thing for his team is just the sisterhood they've built - the culture, resiliency and grit.
"They just don't quit."
Ahead of the tournament, Lord wrote in a post, “These girls are challenging the norms, pushing the boundaries, and proving that greatness knows no gender, race, or background…
“...Together, these girls will write a new chapter in the history of Wakely Shield and Hawkes Bay Rugby—one that celebrates diversity, equality, and the limitless potential that is Mana Kotiro.”
It's epic to see the young generation of wahine leading the way in rugby - yeah the girls!