Topic: Rugby League

Kiwi Fern Krystal Rota takes top Auckland award

By Eru Paranihi
  • Auckland

Kiwi Ferns hooker Krystal Rota has capped off the season on a high by being named 'Female Player of the Year' at the Auckland Rugby League awards last night.

The award has given her confidence ahead of this weekend's ARL final between the Manurewa Marlins and the Richmond Rovers.

Always destined to play league Rota, also followed in her father Rogers, footsteps who played centre in Otahuhu in the 1980s.

“Family are extremely proud, especially my Dad. He’s been probably my number one supporter since I started playing footy. He’s proud along with the rest of my whānau, my children as well,” says Rota (Te Arawa).  

The celebrations from the awards night, held at Alexandra Park in Greenlane, will have to be put to the side as her attention now turns to the grand final this weekend.

“They’ve got a good finishing back line there and some strong forward to get them some go-forward. It’s definitely going to be a good game,” says Rota.

The Manurewa senior player has successfully returned after picking up an injury earlier this year at the NRL Nines tournament in Auckland.

She says, “I’ve had a pretty good season, so I’ve been really fortunate. Injuries are never nice, but a hand I thought would be ok because I could still run and stuff.”

Barring injury, Rota is expected to be named for the world cup when Coach Tony Beatson names his squad next month.

“Being hooker I need to able to direct my team to points, in order for the backline to finish,” says Rota.

Saturday's final will also feature other Kiwi Ferns representatives. Just like Rota, they will have an opportunity to play for a spot in the World Cup squad.