New Zealand's answer to the Burgess clan
They are New Zealand’s answer to the Burgess brothers, and this Sunday against the Jillaroos the Peters sisters will realise a lifelong dream of taking the field together for the Kiwi Ferns.
The Trans-Tasman clash at WIN Stadium will be the first time the three Auckland-based sisters – Kahurangi (20), Rona (26) and Hilda (31) – have been named in the same national side.
“I am pretty nervous but really proud of my two older sisters,” Kahurangi Peters told NRL.com.
“For me being the youngest it is quite a good feeling knowing I have two older sisters next to me, I find that they look after me.
“It is going to be a dream come true to walk out in a black jersey with them.
“Hilda is not getting any younger and neither is Rona, so any opportunity to play alongside my sisters I will take and keep going hard.
“Mum and Dad are real staunch ‘leaguies’, so they are stoked.
“Dad is really overwhelmed and proud. They all came over to watch the World Cup last year and they are coming over on Sunday as well.”
While lock Kahurangi and five-eighth Rona played together in last July’s World Cup, where they lost the final for the first time to Australia 22-12, Hilda will be making her Kiwi Ferns debut after years on the Auckland domestic scene.
“Now that it is getting closer I am very excited, I am not too sure what to expect from the game but I am just trying to think of it as another footy game,” Hilda said.
“I watched the World Cup final at the stadium and at one point they were winning and then you could just see it fading away and they lost.
“I thought to myself ‘I could be just as fit and fast as them’, it was just a matter of confidence.
“I definitely got lots of motivation from my sisters to push for a Kiwi Ferns debut.”
The sisters are no strangers to taking the field together, having teamed up for the Papakura Sea Eagles at club level for years, taking out the Auckland championship this season.
Although all three ladies have vastly different playing styles, Kiwi Ferns coach Rusty Matua says they share a strong work ethic and charisma which will be vital to the team’s chances.
“I have a bit of history with the girls having coached them a few years ago at club level and have had quite a lot of time with them,” Matua said.
“Rona has a wonderful history with the Kiwi Ferns as one of the youngest ever players to play for them at 16.
“Kahurangi is like a missile, her tackle technique is really full on and her fitness is amazing; the fittest in the team.
“Hilda will be coming off the bench covering hooker, loose-forward and second-row. She is not very big but it’s about the quality of the person, not the quantity.
“They are all really humble girls with a lovely nature about them. They just lead by example with the way they play as well.”
Ahead of their flight out to Australia on Friday night Kahurangi said the team was looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd as curtain raiser to the Kangaroos v Toa Samoa Four Nations match, with the World Cup loss still fresh in their minds.
“We don’t often get chances like this to play before big matches, this is a big deal for me to play before Australia and Samoa. It will be cool to be around all those NRL stars,” Kahurangi said.
“The Jillaroos have got quite a mobile forward pack and they just keep coming at you all the time.
“The clash in the first 10-15 minutes, it will be tough yakka and hopefully we can have a crack at them this year. There is a bit of revenge on our minds from the World Cup.”
The rematch of the Women's Rugby League World Cup Final between Australia and New Zealand will be streamed live on NRL.com this Sunday from 1:30pm.