Sister act ready to take on the Indigenous

By Ruth Smith

The New Zealand Māori teams have been in Melbourne over the past week prearing for their big playoffs against Australia's Indigenous team in the inaugural Indigenous Round to be held tomorrow in Melbourne, and for one team it'll be extra special because it'll be a family affair.

Tomorrow, sisters, Hilda, Kahurangi and Rona Peters will be stepping out together for the first time to represent not only their country but their heritage and they can't wait to get out to the field.

GRAB - Hilda Mariu, Kapa Wāhine Māori
"Right now, some are a little nervous, but most are really happy.  We've got a good feeling in the team." 

The sisterly trio are no strangers to the field or the jersey - youngest, Kahurangi will be co-captaining her side and eldest, Hilda Mariu says the team has worked hard in preparation for this game.

"We practice about three times a week, and the forward are right up to par with their fitness levels and what not, so that's good for the team overall."

Mariu says that her team is proud to play such an auspicious game.

"It's a game that I take to heart, not only because we're on a world stage but because I get to take my whānau, hapū and iwi with me, as well as all of New Zealand."

The team has paid particular attention to team building over the week ensuring that New Zealand and Australian-based players alike are well integrated.

"Even though most don't speak te reo or know kapa haka, they can feel the buzz and in that way they bring their own mana, and are able to stand with strength at tomorrow's game."

The Women's team go off to battle at 7pm tomorrow night.