Moree Boomerangs have conceded the Group 19 women’s nines shield to tournament newcomers Glen Innes Magpies following a disappointing finals result.
The undefeated Magpies were the team to beat this year and ultimately proved too good for last year’s unbeaten champions, Moree Boomerangs, in the final on Saturday with an 18-4 victory.
Earlier in the day, the Boomerangs defeated Narwan Eels before progressing to the final.
Boomerangs captain/coach Lorilie Haines said a combination of the heat and tackling penalties in the Narwan game affected the way the Moree side played in the final.
“To be honest, our game with Narwan took a lot out of us,” she said.
“There was a lot of hard tackling, so our reliance on our forwards mixed with the heat really took its toll on the final.
“In the first game we were penalised in our tackling which made a difference with how our girls went in the second game. They were worried about being penalised again, which really had an impact on how we played in the final.
“If we played our normal style of football, I think we could have won.”
Glen Innes came out strong in the final, leading 8-0 at the end of the first half. The Rangs brought the score to 8-4 early in the second half before the Magpies ran away with the game.
This is the Magpies’ first year in the tournament.
“Full credit to them; they went through undefeated and they deserved a win,” Haines said.
Simone Blacklock was a standout for the Rangs in the forwards, while Toni McGrady played well in the backs.
Haines also paid credit to Deborah McGrady who backed up after playing for Moree’s under 17s side each week.
“She played four games each week,” she said.
The tournament also acted as a trial for the Group 19 representative squad, with seven Moree players – forwards Simone Blacklock, Lawanna Brown, Sharmarla Duncan, Shirley Swan, Carly Walton and backs Jordan McKenzie and Deborah McGrady – chosen.
“It’s basically our forward pack which proves we have the best tacklers in the competition,” Haines said.
“The two backs, Jordan and Deborah, are both only 17 so this is a great opportunity for them.”
The squad will train and be cut to 19 for next year’s Greater Northern Championships against Group 21, who are in the middle of their nines competition, and Group 4, who start in two weeks, with the date to be confirmed.
Haines said the tournament was once again a good experience for the Moree girls, however she wished they had the opportunity to play throughout the year, instead of just three weeks.
“The opportunity is given to other regions, allowing them to play league all year. That pathway isn’t followed here yet but hopefully in the next couple of years we’ll get to that,” she said.
Full Group 19 representative squad:
Simone Blacklock, Lawanna Brown, Sharmarla Duncan, Deb McGrady, Shirley Swan, Carly Walton, Chokita Brown, Molly Kennedy, Sarah Hamilton, Nicola Robinson, Skye Gordon-Briggs, Brooke Kingdom, Amarlia Ahoy, Jess Widders, Taneika Landsborough, Britt Youman, Amy Barraclough, Robyn Broadbent, Katelyn Smith, Alyce Walsh, Vicki Youman, Brooke O’Halloran, Sarah Byrne, Breanna Grance, Emily McMeniman, Amelia Tunamena, Alisa Tunamena, Courtney Watts.