Three Glen Innes girls are putting their names in the history books after being named in Greater Northern’s representative squad to take on the first women’s tackle Country Championships.
Sarah Byrne, Amelia and Alisa Tunamena were named after standout efforts in Saturday’s Greater Northern Championships for Group 19.
The trio, along with fellow Glen locals Emily McMeniman, Breanna Grange and Courtney Watts, took on Groups 4 and 21 and came within a whisker of claiming the regional trophy.
First up against Group 21, nerves saw Group 19 miss opportunities in a game they dominated from the get-go.
After scoring first, they went down 6-4. Group 21 claimed the Jane Walmsley Shield.
In her first carry in representative rugby league, Amelia carted three defenders from the 20 metre line to within two metres of the tryline – and they still couldn’t pull her to the ground.
“We played amazing, unlucky against Group 21 I thought,” she said.
“The one comment that stuck with me, Sarah's dad said that we had that game 98 per cent of the time and that two per cent, they got the ball and converted.”
Against Group 4, they dominated from the get-go and shut their opponents out for a 22-nil win.
“If we played Group 4 first and Group 21 second we would have had the shield,” Amelia said.
“Had it been the other way around I feel like we would have creamed the pair of them.”
When the Greater Northern squad was announced, Amelia was the first read out and there was a short but nerve-wracking wait until they heard her younger sister’s name.
Amelia said she is “stoked” to be named alongside Alisa and Sarah.
“Three from Glen Innes. That is unreal,” she said.
“That is a massive, massive step forward for women's sport around here. Everyone in town has been so supportive.
“I have been so sore but I haven't stopped smiling.
“It is good to be taken serious, that was always a major thing for me. We are all out there trying to do the best we can and it is a really good thing to be part of.”
Group 19 snagged nine women in the squad of 20:
Jess Morgan, Taylah Blackadder, Gaynor Blackadder (Merriwa), Brooke Davis (Greta Branxton), Shae Pemberton (Muswellbrook), Lucy Prudden (Murrurundi), Lauren Clarke (Boggabri), Joan O’Leary (South West Robins), Toni Skuthorpe (South West Robins), Zoe darlington (Barraba), Amelia Tunmena, Alisa Tunmena, Sarah Byrne (Glen Innes), Robyn Broadbent, Amy Barraclough, Alyce Walsh, Brooke O’Halloran, Katelyn Smith (Uralla), Taneika Landsborough (Guyra). Coach – Mick Schmiedel.