The Girls Senior Touch team had a very successful year for the 2019 season and should be very proud of all their achievements.
In Term 1, the girls were captained by Gemma Rowe and Riley Thompson. In the final of the Canterbury Secondary Schools’ Wednesday Super Touch competition, Burnside played Christchurch Girls High and won, to take out the Super Touch competition for Term 1. The full team over the year has been:
Paige Cleminson, Ella Downing, Abigail Goldsmith, Amelia MacDonald, Tayla Mackie, Manuhaea Mamaru-O'Regan, Paige Mather, Kaela McLean, Helena Morris, Seruwaia Qalivutu, Gemma Rowe, Cassara Smith, Riley Thompson and Naomi Tran.
Due to a lack of teams entered, the Canterbury Secondary Schools’ Championship was cancelled. Later on in the season we competed in the South Island Secondary Schools' Championship. This event was held at Sheldon Park, Belfast, over the weekend of 23-24 March.
In a very competitive SISS Championship, we managed to make the semi-final, automatically gaining us entry into Nationals, to be held in December in Rotorua. We played five games leading up to our semi. In the semi-final, we faced St Hilda's College from Otago. We knew St Hilda’s would be tough competition as they had been attending the Nationals tournament for a long time. After a very tight game we lost 3-2. After this we were in the playoffs for 3rd and 4th. We played against St Margaret's College in a very skilful and competitive game. The game ended in a draw, resulting in a drop-off. The play continued until it was 3 vs 3. Gemma Rowe scored the winning try with a long pass from Riley Thompson, meaning Burnside placed 3rd at South Islands!.
The NZ Secondary Schools’ Tournament was open entry this year meaning any team could enter regardless of their placing in the previous tournament. NZSS will be held in Rotorua on the weekend of 13th - 15th of December. Burnside will be heading there for the first time since 2014. Unfortunately two regular players, Riley Thompson and Paige Cleminson, cannot attend Nationals due to other school trips taking place at the same time, so stepping up in their place is Brooke Macdonald and Tegan Johnson, meaning we can still take up 14 players.
The team would like to congratulate the following players on their success of making the Canterbury Representative Teams earlier in the year: Riley Thompson - Under 16 Girls; Helena Morris, Gemma Rowe - Under 18 Girls; Tayla Mackie - Under 18 Mixed.
The Burnside Girls Senior Touch team owes a huge thank you to Graeme O’Callaghan (coach) for putting his time and effort into the team, and to Mrs Carla Phillips (teacher manager) for taking the role of managing the team and organising everything. The team really appreciates it.