NRLWA Westpac Womens Premiership – Round 10 Recap

By PETER ROWE

 

Ellenbrook Rabbitohs closed the gap on leaders Joondalup on Friday evening with a gutsy come from behind 24-18 win over the North Beach Sea Eagles in round 10 of the Westpac Women’s Premiership.

 

But it wasn’t all red and green as the Sea Eagles, with just 13 available players, pushed their opponents all the way after taking an early 8-0 first half lead.

 

Centre Ada Cox granted an early double, the first after just three minutes down the left edge and the second five minutes later after some poor defence from the home side.

 

Hooker Demi Goldsworthy pulled the Bunnies back into the contest with a clever dummy and sneak from short metres on a last tackle play before winger Taliana Mika scored the first of her two tries on the night.

 

Kailey Thompson, who kicked four from six conversions, gave the home side a four point margin at the break, but North Beach came roaring back in the second half after soaking up early pressure.

 

An intercept five minutes into the second stanza saw April Alan race the length of the field to score, breaking one tackle and cutting inside to eventually cross.

 

And four minutes later the Sea Eagles were away again, finding a hold down the other edge as Brianna Young blew threw a tackle and kept going, leaving defenders in her wake as the visitors jumped back into the lead.

 

Sinead Loundes kicked the extras and Beach held a six point lead, but as the Ellenbrook forwards began to make deep runs into opposition territory, the visitors began to tire.

 

A penalty 30 metres out set up Frieda Ah-Sam and the Ellenbrook forward wasted no time to power her way across the try line as the Rabbitohs closed the gap.

Thomson missed the conversion, but the comeback was on and with three minutes remaining another platform from the forwards was enough to give Mika the chance for her second of the night.

 

From the kickoff the Rabbitohs pushed again against a tiring North Beach and on last tackle a kick into goal as the siren sounded, was stripped and grabbed by player of the match Ariana Ruru-Hinaki to seal the game and take the points.

 

“It’s a new team this season, so we are slowly getting together, MVP Ruru-Hinaki said after the game.

 

“And we wanted to win tonight as it was Juraea’s  (five eighth Turner) 100th game for the club.”

 

Captain Kailey Thompson acknowledged Turner’s efforts, the first player to reach that milestone at the club.

 

“”Stoked we could get the win for her,” she said.

 

“She led the way in the game but it was another slow start from us, but we found a way in the second half.”

 

North Beach coach Trudy Whaanga was disappointed with the result but praised her young side as they continue to improve.

 

“We had a couple out because of work and a couple injured, so we played with just 13,” she said.

 

“That said, we scored two early tries and then two more in the second half and pushed them all the way. If we can get everyone back and playing well, we can still make the finals.”

 

Joondalup’s clash with Fremantle was cancelled after the injury-hit Giants forfeited earlier in the day.