Two young Central North women are setting the game of rugby sevens on fire this year as they continue on their journey to the top.
Moree’s Ashleigh Walker and Warialda's Tiarna Molloy were both members of the NSW Women's Rugby team that contested at the National Rugby 7s Championships in Adelaide on the weekend.
First year in the open division the girls were selected from their performances throughout the year, with trials at both Warwick and Bowral to make the 24 member team that traveled to Adelaide.
On day one of the pool games, the girls faced the National Indigenous side with a narrow loss 19-12, a decisive win over Tasmania 57-0, and a very tightly contested game against NSW Dark Blue 26-14 where they came away without the win.
On day two, they played the Queensland Reds with five current contracted Australian players released to play, QLD were just too strong 41-0. Next up saw the team re-gather and come away with a win in the plate quarter final over ACT 12-5.
Final match of the day was in the plate final up against the National Indigenous team lead by Australian contracted player Mahalia Murphy, another tight game with this time NSW coming out the victors 10-7 to take home the plate final.
The Queensland Reds were the overall winner of the Cup Final in the women's division taking the title from last years champions, the NSW Dark Blue team.
Walker and Molloy were both very impressive on-field playing an instrumental part in NSW's success at the championships.
The pair are certain to continue excelling in the fast growing sport of rugby sevens, and could be names to watch out for in the next few Olympic Games squads following the Aussie’s golden success in the inaugural run at Rio.
Tiarna will now turn her focus and preparation towards her Australian Youth team where she will head to New Zealand in December for the World Schools 7s Championships.
ARU high performance manager Ben Whitaker said the National Sevens Championship was a key step in the elite pathway of rugby sevens.
“And I know teams have been preparing long and hard for these tournaments," he said.
“The sport continues to grow in the afterglow of rugby’s debut at this year’s Rio Olympic Games and there will be players who could put out performances that catches the eyes of our head coaches of the Aussie Sevens sides.
“The standards of rugby sevens are incredibly high across all states, not just central to your traditional rugby nurseries that will make for some fantastic matches.”