The Glen Innes Magpies league taggers have stretched their lead on the Group 19 ladder with another win, this time against Narwan Eels.
It was another slow start for the Magpies but resilient defence in the opening stages of the game set the tone for a hard-fought 16-4 win.
“Another slow start – we put a lot of pressure on ourselves from the opening kick-off,” coach David Willis said. “For the first 10 minutes we defended and we couldn't get off our tryline.”
Once they got the ball in hand, the hosts managed to post back-to-back tries to Sarah Byrne and Breanna Grange to lead 8-nil at half-time.
The fiery encounter peaked in the second-half with one player sent off but the game continued.
Narwan hit back to get within four points with a try to Anarla Moran.
The remainder of the match went the way of Glen Innes.
Most of the teams we are playing against are up there at the same standard across the board.- David Willis
“Then we scored right on the bell and it was a runaway try,” Willis said. “Emilie Hodge scored from good work from Kate Fakes. She stepped through a few tags and it was a length-of-the-field sort of try.”
While he was disappointed with the start to each half, Willis was pleased with the defence. “Our defence was once again the key to it,” he said.
“The start of the second half was like our first – we were on our defensive line on our tryline for 10 minutes. We just couldn't get over the halfway line but once we did, we knew we could control the match and the win.”
Another positive for Willis to come out of the game was the effort across the park.
“Some of the younger players played well and the older ones led them around when things got a bit tough which was great to see,” he said. “When Emilie scored that last try, there were 10 girls behind her. It was a runaway try but all the girls put effort in to get there and support her.
“They are playing well as a team.”
The competition this year is one of the closest yet with low scoring results in every week.
Just one team – the Moree Boars against Armidale Rams in round five – has posted more than 30 points in a game, and it has only happened once.
“We still have to master our attack but our defence has won us most of our games,” Willis said.
“That goes to compliment the quality we are playing against also.
“Most of the teams we are playing against are up there at the same standard across the board.
“The calibre, everyone is at the same sort of level and it is only those one percenters, people doing a bit extra, that gets them over the line.”
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