WA Women’s Lose Opener In A Hearbreaker

The Women’s National Championships kicked off today, 18th May 2023 and it was our Western Australia Women’s who were up against last years defending champions in NSW Emerging Country.

With big hopes in tow, and the girls acclimatising in the Gold Coast for the last couple of days, it was game on at Pizzey Park, the home of the Burleigh Bears.

And the West Australians started fast. With Country dropping the ball in the first set of the game, the WA side were on the attack early and reaped the benefits of some sustained pressure.

Te Rauhina Wall was the first to strike, we she beat no less than seven defenders on a rampaging run close to the line and a destructive effort to announce that WA would not be intimidated, and when Turiti Galiki-Koiatu kick the conversion, WA were up 6-0 and looking awesome.

And after soaking up some defensive pressure on their own line, they marched down the other end of the field and struck again, with Mahinarangi Clair throwing a beautiful short ball for Galiki-Koiatu to slice straight through and goosestep her way past the fullback for a great rugby league try, and when Anneka Stephens nailed the conversion from out wide, it was 12-0 and smooth sailing for the WA ladies.

But at halftime the momentum shifted and NSW Emerging Country changed gears.

A quick strike 6 minutes in on the NSW right edge, brought it back to 12-4, and they were full of running. And unfortunately the WA side continued to invite NSW back into the game. With some dropped balls and poor discipline, it set up a grandstand finish, when NSW Country went in again at the 22 minute mark to make in 12-8 and everything to play for.

And with the clock winding down, NSW Country got another penalty and marched down the field once again. A shift to their left wing, ended up with the ball passing through 8 sets of hands only to finish off back in the middle of the field, and the Country kicker made no mistake with the conversion, and left NSW Emerging Country with a 14-12 win and a heartbreaker for our ladies from the West.

WA now take on the QLD Sapphires tomorrow at 8:30am AWST, after the Sapphires suffered a big loss to NSW City in the opening fixture.