England has a top ambassador: Nina Clarkin. The 10-goaler leaves her imprint all over the world, showing her class wherever she plays. Last Saturday, February 3, Nina led the English team (with Alex James, Amanda Norman y Beccy Clarke) to face New Zealand (Renn Erceg, Maddie Rankin, Susie Hamilton y Missy Browne) at the Cambridge Polo Club of Leamington, Waikato.
The four-chukker match was very close, with the final score not really reflecting how close the game was was, given it ended with a 7-1 British victory. However, Alex James acknowledged that “Nina was very effective, and unstoppable on the ball. In mixed polo we were actually the weaker team on paper. We all did our bit to clear the way for Nina to get the goals.” Their opponent also had compliments for the #4: “I loved playing with Nina, you learn just by watching her. She’s so unbelievably good”, said Susie Hamilton.
In recognition of her great performance, Clarkin was chosen as the Most Valuable Player and her horse Cuba won the Best Playing Pony blanket.
Quotes from NZ
Nina Clarkin (England)
“It was a great game and the match was really fast and well fought. The quality of the match was not reflected in the score. My team played great. For my three other players it was their first time representing their country and they were all very nervous. However they played fantastic and we went very well as a team!”
Renn Erceg (New Zealand)
“I feel we had the ability to beat England, unfortunately we were out played on the day. Nina is a professional who did a fantastic job of running her ladies. I know I personally did not play as well as I can and my defense on my man was poor.”
Beccy Clarke (England)
“It was my first test match yes, it was also Amanda’s and Alex’s too. I think we were all quite nervous but once we started it was great fun and an amazing experience.”