Photo credit: Sarah Hirini Instagram
They had hoped to play together for the Manawatū Cyclones in the Farah Palmer Cup last year, but injury kept the Black Ferns Sevens skipper on the sideline.
Sarah and Rachael played a pre-season FPC fixture last season and have played a handful of club games together, but Tuesday’s historic occasion is one that will stay with them forever.
“It’s so cool, such a beautiful moment for my family,” said Hirini after the match.
“For my dad sitting in the crowd and for both of our husbands and her [Rachael’s] kids it’s a special time for our family and I know there were a lot of people watching on TV because they couldn’t come to the game.”
Rachael, who captain’s the Cyclones and started at lock for the Poua, posted on social media saying she will “cherish this forever”.
It had been a tough couple of weeks for the Hurricanes Poua, who missed their opening round match, due to Covid cases and isolation requirements, but they were a strong opponent for the Chiefs Manawa who already had two games under their belt.
Hirini said she was gutted with the result given the Manawa were reduced to 13 players at one stage in the match.
“We had opportunities to win that game and we just couldn’t capitalise which is gutting for us, but we have to move on now.
“We wanted to come out here and try and prove our worth in this competition and I thought we did. Obviously, we didn’t come away with the win, but I’m still proud of our team.”
The Hurricanes Poua play their second and final match against Matatū at FMG Stadium Waikato on Sunday at 5.45pm, while the nib Blues and Chiefs Manawa face off to determine who will be crowned the inaugural Sky Super Rugby Aupiki champion at 7.45pm. Both games will be live on Sky Sport.