Rugby league: women's nines met with praise

Group 19’s women’s nines competition launched out of the starting gate with huge success in round one. 

Four teams – Armidale-Narwan, Narwan, Warialda and Moree Boomerangs – took the field for the opening week at Armidale’s Rugby League Park with spectators turning out to show their support. 

The day got underway with a clash between Warialda and Moree. 

The ’Rangs’ claimed the win 10-4 with Shai-Lee Smith and Shirl-May Swan crossing for four-pointers while the Wombats’ Molly Kennedy scored their lone try. 

The second game saw the local derby between the combined Armidale-Narwan team and the Narwan Eels taking the field. 

From the get-go it was the combined team who dominated earning back-to-back sets and capitalising on Narwan’s mistakes. 

Chokita Brown crossed for three tries with Bea Roberts converting two while Narwan’s Kelly Moran scored their try with Leelisha Quinlan converting. 

Armidale-Narwan took the win 16-6. 

Narwan backed up shortly after to clash with the Moree side in the third game of the day.

The visitors managed to run out convincing winners 20-4. 

The final game saw Warialda aiming for their first win against Armidale-Narwan but the home side put up a fight. 

Brown crossed for another hat-trick for her side to win 16-4. 

Groups across Country Rugby League introduced nines competitions this year with a tremendous response. 

Armidale-Narwan player Jymia Speeding said it was great to see the opportunity available for women to play tackle rugby league.

“It's great to see women playing rugby league, we all had fun so it was just a really great experience,” she said. 

“We haven't had a big women's comp around here so we are still learning but there's obviously really good players and we are all coming together so the competition is really good.

“I have only been in Armidale for seven years and it that time it has definitely grown. 

“See the first few women taking the step up encouraging other women to come and play as well is really good.”

There are still two rounds to go before the finals. 

Speeding tipped the Boomerangs as the team to beat but said everyone is still finding their feet. 

“Moree looks pretty strong, they all look strong and I think we are all gelling still,” she said. 

“I am really happy with our team. 

“We came together and played really well together. 

“We had that confidence in each other and that strength so I am really looking forward to the future.”

Narwan didn’t manage to snag a win from their two matches but captain Anarla Moran said it was a good learning curve for her side. 

“It was the first time as a team that we all played together,” she said. 

“The girls played really well, we all went out on the field and gave it our best shot. 

“From here we can only improve and it’s exactly what we aim at doing.”