The Central Highlands Rugby League Women’s Representative team made the trip north to Jack Manski Oval on Saturday afternoon to take on the Townsville Representative team in a pre-season Hit Out prior to the upcoming 47th Battalion carnival.
After a tough 60 minutes of footy, Central Highlands ended the day victors 28-14 over the Townsville Stingers in a hotly contested game.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the visiting side at the start with the home team scoring the first points on the back of defending their own try line for three sets of six.
Central Highlands hit back with their first try moments later before Townsville regained the lead after Talesha Quinn caught them napping on their own try line.
Just before the half-time break, Kiri Samson crossed the line for her second with no one at home and Mariah Storch threw it over the sticks to make it 12-8 going into half-time.
An inspirational half-time talk by coaches Alan McIndoe and Terri Weatherley saw Central Highlands come out of the sheds as a different footy side and scored a further two tries, keeping Townsville scoreless right until the 56th minute, with the home side hitting back with a consolation try.
On the stroke of full-time, Central Highlands crossed the line once again to close out the game.
2015 Dally M Female Player of the Year and Townsville coach Jenni-Sue Hoepper said it was a great game to watch and believes its games like these that grow Women’s Rugby League.
“It was a great game to watch and both teams did very well. The Townsville girls were excited to play against a team they’ve never played against before and enjoyed the experience,” Hoepper said.
“It’s these sort of games that grow Women’s Rugby League.”
Central Highlands Rugby League President Frank Lambley believes the game was great for his players and showed signs of bigger and better things to come.
“It was a good trip and good experience for our ladies and was a great game to watch. Townsville were a big side and showed some promising signs, particularly with their goal-line defence,” Lambley said.
“The match I believe is a sign of bigger and better things to come with the 47th Battalion carnival in Roma not too far away.
“The weekend leaves us with a few things to work on and perfect before we head away in just under a month.”
The next fixtures for the Central Highlands Ladies will be at the 47th Battalion Carnival in Roma on the May Day weekend.
The team will take on South West Country and last year’s premiers, Sunshine Coast, before a potential finals berth and hopeful grand final appearance at this year’s carnival decider.
The Central Highlands Rugby League season is set to kick off next Saturday night, April 16, with Bluff hosting Clermont in a grand final replay, Middlemount hosting Cowboys, Tigers hosting Dysart in the Ladies and Men’s and Springsure hosting Blackwater.
Central Highlands 28 (Kiri Samson 2, Tegan Rolfe, Denise Chaplin, Juanita McDonald tries; Mariah Storch 3, Cassidy Morrissey 1 goals) def Townsville Stingers 14 (Gogie Namokmackie, Kama Mairu, Talesha Quinn tries)