A jubilant Country NSW celebrated an historic 5-0 win over Queensland on the opening day of the Buildcorp National Women's Championships.
The upset win put everyone on notice, with Queensland considered one of the title frontrunners and the result didn't escape the attention of Buildcorp Wallaroos coach Paul Verrell either.
“NSW Country surprised everybody and out-enthused Queensland in that first game, put them under pressure,” he said.
“They showed through their talk and communication that they were in the game the whole time. And their defence was great. Queensland started slow and Country NSW shocked them.”
Queensland's shock loss to NSW Country means the top spot in Pool B – and a valuable grand final berth – is up for grabs,. with ACT is the only Pool B team to have won their first two matches.
Sydney and Western Australia remain undefeated in Pool A, as they prepare to do battle at 12.30pm tomorrow.
Verrell said no teams could be ruled out of contention yet.
“In their second game Queensland played really well, particularly their reserves who added to the team and got them over the line," he said.
“Reigning champions Sydney showed they have pace, spread the ball well and they can control the game. Similarly, ACT have a lot of young girls who impressed and they played a very good structured game, their shape in attack was excellent. I think they’ll get better as the tournament goes on and they’re really going to push for the title.
“In the WA side it was great to see a few girls who’ve been off the radar for a while who’ve come back to play rugby. We were pleasantly surprised with what they did. I’m looking forward to Day Two as I'm sure we'll see more promising rugby.”
Day one results
Sydney v ADFRU (38-5)
Sydney showed their class early in the game keeping the Defence Force scoreless in the first half with tries to Ash Hewson, Hanna Sio and Shontelle Stowers. Sydney continued to dominate in the second half, as Stowers nabbed a double, followed by a 50m run to number 8, Victoria Latu who scored a five-pointer under the posts. ADFRU countered in the dying minutes when a lucky bounce allowed fullback Amy Carpenter to score in the corner.
WA v Victoria (19-0)
WA dominated possession during the wet first half, capitalising on an overlap in the 4th minute to open the scoring with a try to wing Caitlyn Edwards, followed by another to Te Rau Pasene-Grennell. Edwards scored her second after half time, and as the rain intensified, Victoria were forced to make countless tackles and showed good defensive line speed, however were unable to convert their few opportunities.
ACT v SA (24-0)
The ACT side showed their backline flair punching out three tries in the first half at the hands of Paremo Marsh, Shellie Milward, Kasey Dragisic. Strong individual performances from Tayla Stanford and Dragisic kept the Brumbies women on the front foot in the second half, and Irene MacArthur capitalised with the side’s fourth try. Despite moments of brilliance in attack, SA were left scoreless.
Sydney v VIC (36-0)
In their second match of the day, a well-structured Sydney team mounted consistent pressure on the Victorians, running in six tries to none. Victoria Latu scored two, with her second coming off a powerful burst through a lineout. Despite rallying in the second half, the physical Victorian outfit was unable to break through the Sydney line.
ADFRU v WA (0-10)
In a tight tussle, the ADFRU and WA sides spent most of the first-half parked in the middle of the field, as both teams tried to gain the upper hand. WA showed promise in attack, but their clean breaks were nullified by strong defence and relentless pressure from ADFRU. WA scrumhalf Kendra Fell’s try in the 6th minute was the only try of the match.
ACT v NSW Country (22-0)
After their upset against QLD, NSW Country charged out, halting the Brumbies attacking line with their rampant defence. ACT outside centre Tayla Stanford eventually broke through, diving through Country’s defence for the first try. A change of pace in the second half saw the ACT overwhelm Country, nabbing three more tries including a spectacular solo effort from Stanford who scored in the corner on the final whistle.
QLD v SA (39-0)
In the last match of the day, QLD’s traction was difficult for the SA team to curb, as they ran in four tries in the first half, slicing through the SA defence. The bullrush continued in the second half with some great running from QLD who scored another three unanswered tries. QLD Winger Siniva Ah-Ki had a standout match, running in three tries, while flanker Kirby Sefo scored two.