© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2019

Christchurch Girls’ High School First XV team one step closer to dream win

Nikki Carroll
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CGHS Jorja Miller on her way to score one of her three trys NZ Barbarians (Facebook)

After a comprehensive victory over semi-final opponents Onehunga High School, at the NZ Barbarians National First XV Championships in Palmerston North yesterday, CGHS are ready for the next stage.

In wet and muddy conditions, CGHS overcame fierce opposition from Onehunga to come away with a 57 to 7 win, and will now face Hamilton Girls High School in the National Final on Sunday afternoon.

This is the first time that CGHS have made the Top Four finals, having beaten St Hilda's Collegiate of Dunedin in the South Island Secondary School Girl's Final two weeks ago.

In 2017 and 2018 the team made the South Island final but could not beat Southland Girls High School to reach the next level, so this year's achievement is their best result so far.

Manager Craig Thornhill said the girls were a little bit apprehensive going in to the semi-final, having not played at this level before, but the team stuck to their game plan - shifting the ball wide, using their speed and athleticism to get round the Onehunga girls.

Stand out players for CGHS were open-side flanker Jorja Miller and full-back Naia Toaolamai-Holden, who scored three trys each, and centre Alice Hutchinson who scored two trys.

Captain and first five-eight Alice Dalzell was able to start in the match, after being a reserve for the South Island final due to a previous injury.  Mr Thornhill said that Hutchinson's quick hands, distribution skills and chattiness were great to have on the field to help control the game.

Mr Thornhill said Hamilton Girls High School are a really well-trained and athletic side, but he believes if the CGHS team stick to their game plan they could be in with a shot.

Kick-off for the final is 12.10pm, and the game will be broadcast live on Sky Sport from 12.05pm. Updates and results for all the finals being played - boys, girls and co-ed - will be posted on the NZ Barbarians National 1st XV Championships Facebook page.