NRLWA Westpac Womens Premiership – Round 02 Recap

By PETER ROWE

A Kailey Thompson field goal three minutes from time secured the points for Ellenbrook at Blue Force Park on Friday night as the Rabbitohs edged the North Beach Sea Eagles 17-16 in round two of the Westpac NRLWA Women’s Premiership.

Thompson rounded off a solid second half comeback from the visitors, who trailed 16-6 at one stage, diving over to score with nine minutes left before kicking the conversion to level the scores nine minutes from time.

“I’ve never kicked a field goal before, so it’s a first for me,” a delighted Thompson said after the game.

“We made it tough on ourselves against a North Beach team that never gave up, but once we got a roll on in the second half we were confident we could score.”

Thompson marshalled her players for that last kick superbly, wondering if they had made enough metres before kicking.

“I was thinking ‘have we made enough or do we need to an extra few’, then I just thought ‘let’s give it a crack’,” Thompson said.

It was a good all-round performance from the Rabbitohs, coming off a narrow loss to Joondalup the previous round, who rotated their bench superbly to maintain late pressure on a tiring Sea Eagles team.

Centre Huia Swannell scored the first of her double after 20 minutes to give the visitors an early lead before hooker Anahera Te-Rahui, on last tackle, dived over for the first of her three scores for the night.

Sinead Loundes kicked the conversion to level the score as the Sea Eagles edged ahead right on halftime, with Te-Rahui, from dummy half, scoring again.

When the lively No.9 scored her third just after half-time, and with the kick good, the Sea Eagles were in control, but with no bench replacements, they tired and allowed their opponents to make metres in possession – enough to set up Swannell for her second of the night, before the late charge and try from Thompson to level it up.

Then came the heartbreaking set and kick for the visitors to seal the points.

“We’re a young side and we were missing a few through injury and work commitments, but it was an awesome effort from the girls,” North Beach coach Trudy Whaanga said.

“It’s a learning process and it was tough late in the game as we had no replacements, but they played their hearts out and I’m confident we will continue to improve as the season progresses.”

The Giants and Roosters had a bye as a part of the bye round plans for the Police Games at the end of the month.