Super Rugby Apuiki has started with Chiefs Manawa claiming a 17-15 win over Southern franchise Matatū in Hamilton on Thursday night.
Super Rugby Apuiki is the first all women’s professional rugby competition to start in New Zealand.
Apuiki means ‘the ascent to the upper most realm’ and is used as a path to the Black Ferns. There are four teams in this years competiton; Blues Women, Hurricanes Poua, Chiefs Manawa and Matatu.
In the first game it was all one-way traffic through the opening 15 minutes in terms of possession, the strong defence of the Matatū side was more than up to the challenge being posed to them by the Chiefs.
When they did crack, with Chiefs prop Angel Mulu scoring from close range, the Southerners hit back almost immediately through Black Ferns star Pip Love.
With the Chiefs ahead 17-10 at the break, the script flipped in the second half and it was Matatū who enjoyed the bulk of the possession but had to contend with some stoic defence.
It took the entire second half for Matatū to finally crack the Chiefs defense, with prop Amy Rule crossing in the corner. However, the conversion faded away to the right of the posts, and their comeback efforts fell short.