The Playle girls are mad about rugby
WAIKITE, New Zealand-June 29: 1:47pm(NZ Herald): If the Playle household had a motto it would be “girl power”.
Polly Playle and her daughters Mason, 7, and Nova, 4, are self-confessed “rugby nuts” and it is clear the girls have inherited their mother’s competitive spirit.
Polly plays halfback for the Rotoiti women’s rugby team and has represented the Bay of Plenty Volcanix, while Mason and Nova play for the Waikite under-7 and under-6 teams respectively.
“I started playing rugby in third form at Edgecumbe College,” said Polly.
“I just played through school and only recently picked it up again after Nova was born – this is my third season back.
“Back at school all my friends were playing, we all played quite a few different codes, but rugby was always the favourite.”
After playing two seasons with Waikite, she made the move to Rotoiti this year.
“I mainly switched for the coaching … Victoria Grant is an ex-Black Fern, and I wanted to improve myself.
“I actually thought it would be harder because I’m quite a loyal person, but my husband plays there, so we were always there anyway.
“I think I just feel like I was always naturally quite good at [rugby], so I didn’t have to think much about it.”
While Polly played several different positions throughout secondary school, she enjoyed the action of playing halfback the most.
“Just being involved all the time – I’ve played a few seasons on the wing, and you can get a bit cold there.
“As halfback, you can get really involved in the game which I like.”
Polly, and her husband George, who plays for the Rotoiti premier men’s team, coach the under-7 girls’ side and perform the ultimate balancing act each week getting to their own practices and games, as well as the girls’ while working fulltime jobs.
“I have a good support system at home.
“It’s good that my husband and I can train at different times and our two nieces live with us – they’re 18 and 19, and they help out with the kids a lot.
“It’s a team effort, I couldn’t do it without them,” said Polly.
When she found out there was an all girls team at Waikite, Polly encouraged her daughters to get involved.
“I thought it would be good for Mason to give it a go.
“It’s pretty cool to see that what I do has a positive reflection on them.
“It’s cool to see them, at this age already, start to talk amongst each other about how they’re going to beat the opposition.
“They are very competitive – I actually think they do get that from their mum.”
Regardless of which sport they chose, Polly believed it was important for her children to participate.
“I think it’s good for them to be in that atmosphere and meeting new people outside of school.”
Mason said she liked playing rugby and scoring tries.
She once scored 11 tries in a single game and her inspirations, after her mum and dad, were Black Ferns Sarah Goss and Portia Woodman.
“I like running with the ball, I’m the second fastest in my team,” said Mason.
“When I play rugby with the boys at school they all want me to be on their team.”
Hot on the girls’ heels is their younger brother Ahipera.
The 1-year-old already has his own miniature rugby ball which he carries around the house and can place kick off a tee.
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