Despite not getting a full-team training in til opening day, a young Mainland Pouākai squad battled all the way to a third place finish at the 2023 3×3 Cup, defeating the West Coast Rapids 22-7.
“Being such a young team there was a lot of learning involved, especially on the first day [where] we focused on trying to figure out what kind of team we are and how we [can] work with our strengths,” said Samia, who finished as one of the competition’s leading scorers.
Samia was a member of the Pouākai’s 2022 3×3 team that won the competition. This year she took on a larger leadership role, being supported by a promising teenage trio of Taiana Day, Lauren Whittaker and Kavanah Lene.
“Rosalia was inspirational leading the way. She brought all her experience to the group and helped them grow not just as a team but individually as well,” said coach Josh Thompson. “[I] felt we got better as the competition progressed,” he later explained. Samia shared this sentiment, saying, “[With] each game we played, we became more and more united.”
While it was maybe not the result they were after, the team is still proud of what they were able to achieve and rightfully so. “For a young team, we battled hard and that’s all you can ask for as a coach.” added Thompson. “[The] future is bright in 3×3 for us.”