Moree Boomerangs have taken out the 2017 Group 19 women’s nines competition, winning both their final matches in front of a home crowd on Saturday.
The Moree girls finished the three-round tackle competition undefeated after wins against Armidale and Warialda at Burt Jovanovich Oval on Saturday, December 9.
Moree coach Lorilie Haines said the girls were thrilled to take home the shield on Saturday, after putting in a top effort throughout the past few weeks.
“I’m pretty stoked with that,” she said.
“The girls played really well. I think they really deserved it. I’m pretty happy with their performance.”
Moree defeated Armidale 12-4 before backing up to seal their victory with a 12-6 win over Warialda.
“The second game was a bit more challenging, Warialda really stepped up to the plate,” Haines said.
“They had us down 6-4 at half-time so that was an eye-opener. I had a chat with the girls at half-time and they gave it 100 per cent in the second half which made a difference.
“I think the heat and a big game against Armidale didn’t help.”
Haines said the forwards really stepped up and led the side on Saturday in what were challenging conditions with 33-degree heat.
“Shamarla Duncan and Bianca Wells played really well,” she said.
“Some of our forwards showed signs of not giving up and kept digging deep and found the strength to carry the team. Our forwards really made the difference.”
A large crowd came along to watch the action at Burt Jovanovich Oval on Saturday, with many impressed at the calibre of skill on show.
“It was good for the community to actually see the game; I got heaps of comments about how good the day was,” Haines said.
“They were shocked with how good the girls were.”
The day was extra special for Haines, who was announced as the coach for the Group 19 representative side, which will play against other groups on February 10, 2018.
“I was a bit shocked; it’s an honour,” she said.
The Group 19 women’s nines competition has provided the chance for the local girls to improve their tackling and rugby league skills, opening up other opportunities to take the sport further.
The announcement of a rep side, which comes as the NRL made a number of exciting announcements about the future of women’s rugby league, provides regional players with a direct pathway opportunity from grassroots to elite level football.
“I’m just hoping the door’s open now to other women,” Haines said.
“I think that promotion side of things might lift the sport and encourage other women to have a go, in particular the younger generation. It creates a pathway.
“With the Jillaroos winning the World Cup, we have the opportunity to go on that pathway now. It’s very exciting.”
Ms Haines would like to thank their sponsors, Pius X Aboriginal Corporation, PACT, Walton’s Bobcat Hire, Balo Square Bakery, Annie’s Bakery, Moree Discount Drug Store, Moree Amcal Chemist, and Skizzers.