2019 saw the expansion of our Women’s competition from 7-a-side to 10-a-side.
Whilst the 7s tournament saw all the fun and excitement in the past, the limited game time each week had the athletes wanting more. The exciting pathway to 15-a-side also an enticing option for all athletes through the Brumbies Super W side.
Last years premiers continue to dominate, even against the other top teams, but a home game against last years finalist saw the end of the unbeaten streak of CSU.
A highlight for the Women’s comp was the introduction of “Women’s Rugby Round” where a Gala Day style event was hosted at Conolly, all 8 teams played one after the other, and it was a great celebration of Women’s Rugby in our zone.
CSU entered the competition as hot favourites, coach Andy Bedford tried to hang up the whistle, but the temptation of 10s was too much for him, and the girls may have done a little begging (and threatened a riot).
With some of the best players in our zone featured in their team, things were off to a great start, Ellen McIntyre often scoring hat tricks in the first half of the game.
Unfortunately Biola Dawa has moved on to pursue higher honours in the capital, she is sure to hold a spot in the UC7s team this year, and we hope to see her in Brumbies colours again in 2020.
The return of Ivy Merlehan should see improvement at CSU, as well as occasional celebrity appearances from Emma Hickey and Brittany Bedford.
8. Loss v Griffith (17-42)
9. Win v Leeton (58-10)
10. Win v WAC (58-12)
11. v Tumut (A)
12. v City (H)
13. v Waratahs (A)
Tumut saw the demise of their League Tag team entering 2019, so there has been some new faces in the Bullettes this year. Many who have seen them play would agree that it has been a huge positive. A new coach appointed in Lorraine Ngauma was a bonus (notably, she is the only Female Coach in the zone), and a heavy pre-season focussing on fitness and contact has paid dividends.
Some of the stars include the Freeman girls (Shanae and Teisha), whilst not many can drop kick from the sideline, Monique Bullock sure can. The list could go on and on, but one of their senior members, in Kylie Jensen has really stepped up this year, rumour is she scored a long distance run away try this year.
If the girls can string some strong results together starting this weekend, they will be looking to knock over CSU for top spot.
8. Loss v Waratahs (27-29)
9. Win v Griffith (43-7)
10. Win v City (29-27)
11. v CSU (H)
12. v WAC (H)
6. v Leeton (A)*
Waratahs had a slow start to the season, with concerns starting around playing numbers at the club, they have since become one of the top teams, knocking over all opponents except CSU over the last 5 weeks.
The introduction of Mark Macarthur as Coach was welcomed by all, his coaching history in Women's Rugby eclipses many in our zone, and is starting to pay off now that he has got a consistent squad. Not to mention he has the woman who never stops, Judy Grant, as his team manager.
The team is led by Holly Stephens, and she continues her form as the best play maker in the zone. When she isn’t running through holes, she is putting the ball in front of others to go through them. Consistency will be the key for this team, and if they continue their form, they will be a team to watch deep into the Finals.
8. Win v Tumut (29-27)
9. Win v City (45-34)
10. Win v Albury (47-17)
11. v WAC (A)
12. v Leeton (A)
13. v CSU (H)
Griffith were tipped to be a team to watch this year, with the introduction of 10-a-side, Griffith were known to have some of the strongest athletes in the competition, and this was their chance to show off. They have suffered from mixed results due to travel being an issue for some players, but now they have found their rhythm with wins over two of the 3 sides above them, they will be confident again heading into the back half of the season.
Fan favourite Lele Katoa is unlikely to be seen for the rest of 2019 as the code jump to league has paid off with selection for NSW to play in Origin, as well as a contract to play professionally.
The Lolotonga girls continue to cause headaches out wide for defences, as well as Eliza Baddock as a former Australian Touch Representative.
8. Win v CSU (42-17)
9. Loss v Tumut (7-43)
10. Win v Leeton (49-0)
11. v City (A)
12. v Steamers (A)
13. v WAC (A)
Wagga City had to deal with the loss of their coach leading into the 2019 season, with a general call put out for coaches for all grades, local boy and SIRU employee Tom Martin was offered the role of Women’s Coach.
The City girls are a tight knit group, but with Tom came some young players fresh out of school, bringing some future proofing to the team.
City have seen mixed results this year, and have regularly lost close ones. Finishing games strong may be the key to the back half of the season.
Club stars include the two Aprils (April and Apryll), who are often seen crossing the try line.
8. Win v Steamers (32-17)
9. Loss v Waratahs (45-34)
10. Loss v Tumut (27-29)
11. v Griffith (H)
12. v CSU (A)
13. v Leeton (A)
Leeton were our Premiers in 2017, but have since just fallen short in 2018, and have slipped down the ladder in 2019.
The loss of Kaitlyn McKay (or Chook as most know her) has played a huge part in this, but their coach Stuart Stout would still be positive leading into the backend of the season.
With some future stars in their team including SSA athlete Sarah Allen (16), the future is bright in Leeton.
8. Win v WAC (39-20)
9. Loss v CSU (10-58)
10. Loss v Griffith (0-49)
11. v Albury (A)
12. v Waratahs (A)
6. v Tumut (H)*
Wagga Ag College were excited about the return of Harriet Elleman to start the season, with a group of new girls joining the club, but a horror run of injuries brought all of that to a half early on.
We don’t see a lot of mid-season transfers in SIRU, but Clare Harpleys move from Tumut to WAC might be the most notable in recent history. Due to Clare schooling in Wagga she wasn’t available for training, but now with some fitness under her feet she could become one of the big names in the competition.
Tiffany Furniss continues to lead the team into every game, and their one win over Albury got them off the bottom of the ladder.
8. Loss v Leeton (20-39)
9. Win v Albury (20-15)
10. Loss v CSU (12-58)
11. v Waratahs (H)
12. v Tumut (A)
13. v Griffith (H)
Albury were hoping to climb the ranks and assert themselves as serious contenders in 2019. With a lot of new players to the sport, it was going to be a challenge. They have come to every game with aggression (sometimes too much) and passion, but just lack the flair that some other teams have.
With stars like Susan Curby clocking up some serious runs, as well as pace out wide from Olympia Achillea, things could turn around in the back end of the season.
The return of Jade Batten should help their forward pack, but they need to find some width if they want to score some more points.
8. Loss v City (17-32)
9. Loss v WAC (15-20)
10. Loss v Waratahs (17-47)
11. v Leeton (H)
12. v Griffith (H)
13. v Tumut (A)
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