captain makes late impact

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The captain of the Eastern team just made it to the semifinal of the Southland under-18 women’s rugby competition on Monday and ended up scoring the final try.

Eastern beat Verdon College, 35-14, at St Peter’s College in Gore.

Sharnee Gardyne-Palmer captains the Eastern women’s team which is made up of players from Menzies College, St Peter’s College and Gore High School.

Gardyne-Palmer initially was not able to make the team’s semifinal on time due to study commitments but she made a late appearance.

“Where’s my jersey?” Gardyne-Palmer asked before she ran on to the field.

Eastern prop Sophie Holland said she thought the game went well, regardless of not having Gardyne-Palmer for the first half.

“We knew the opposition were going to bring a tough competition so we prepared really well,” Holland said.

Ten minutes into the second half, after Gore High School’s Kalesi Natuikata scored a try, Gardyne-Palmer ran on, ready to convert it.

She missed the conversion but it did not take her long to find her feet on the field.

After plenty of pushing from the Verdon team, Eastern began to drive the ball up slowly.

A scrum at 25m gave them an advantage that Gardyne-Palmer took with full force. She took the ball up while stepping Verdon players on her way, and touched down for a try.

Gardyne-Palmer failed to convert it and the fulltime whistle blew shortly after.

Eastern will play the final against Southland Girls’ High School on Monday at Southland Girls’.

Holland said she and her team-mates were excited about the final.