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Sapphires and NSW Country shine in entertaining final day

The fourth and final day of action in the Harvey Norman Women's National Championship has wrapped up on the Gold Coast with six great games. 

The teams and the players put their best foot forward across the full four days, with the final day of games providing some exciting match ups and memorable moments. 

Combine winners reflect on their rugby league journey so far

On the last day of the Championships, all 12 teams were action, with games played across two fields with the  Burleigh Bears Junior Rugby League fields also hosting three games as well as regular venue UAA Park.

The Queensland Sapphires finished the tournament undefeated after beating NSW City in their last match, with NSW Country also finishing without a loss after overcoming Ahi Ka Aotearoa in a tight match. 

Day 4 results - Sunday, March 24 - Field 1

2024 Women's National Championship | Day 4 | Field 1

First Nations Gems v Papua New Guinea 

First Nations Gems and Papua New Guinea launched the action on Field 1 and the two teams delivered a contest, with the Gems coming out on top. In a tight opening half, a powerful run from Rease Casey to the line opened the scoring to give her side a 4-0 lead at the half-time break. The Gems had the better of the match in the second half as well, crossing for two more tries and scrambled well in defence to hold out the PNG team who didn't stop trying in attack. In their first appearance at the Championships, PNG showed what they can do and will no doubt be ready for the action next year. The First Nations Gems have been one of teams to watch over the past few Championships and continued to show their skills in 2024. 

NSW Country v Ahi Ka Aotearoa

NSW Country remained undefeated for the tournament, managing to hold off the challenge from Ahi Ka Aotearoa in their final game. Both teams were in good form coming into Day Four, but it was Country who were able to kick on after a tightly-contested opening half which saw them take a 12-6 lead at the break. Another tournament try to Caitlin Turnbull in the second half proved to be the winner, with Ahi Ka Aotearoa lock Sade Schaumkel's 35th minute try narrowing the gap. Country will no doubt be pleased have stayed unbeaten for their 2024 campaign, while the visitors from New Zealand performed well overall, with their losses all being by a converted try or less. 

NSW City v Queensland Sapphires

The highly-anticipated match-up between interstate rivals NSW City and Queensland Sapphires didn't disappoint, with the two sides playing out an entertaining match before the Sapphires were able to claim a 10-4 win. Coming into the match, both teams were undefeated and were aiming for a perfect end to their tournament. In a close opening half, a try to Sapphires co-captain Bree Spreadborough got her side on the board first to hold a 4-0 lead at half-time. They extended their lead with impressive centre Relna Hosea crossing for another tournament try. City responded with a try to Lily Rogan but it was all too late, with Queensland claiming the win in front of a supportive home crowd.

Day 4 schedule - Sunday, March 24 - Field 2

2024 Women's National Championship | Day 4 | Field 2

Victoria v South Australia 

Victoria proved too strong for South Australia in their match, winning 34-6 to post their first victory of the Championships, with Dayna Stevens crossing for a first-half double. Victoria secured a 24-0 lead at the break which did all the damage, with South Australia fighting hard in the second to stem the flow of points. South Australia did get the chance to celebrate however, with Emily Symonds putting in a sneaky dummy-half play to post her side's first try to the tournament. Both sides showed great spirit throughout their four days of competition, but were often their own worst enemies with errors cruelling their positive momentum when they had a chance with the ball. However, they will take good memories away from their final game and plenty of positives to work on for the future. 

Western Australia v Australian Defence Force Rugby League

Australian Defence Force Rugby League finished their 2024 Harvey Norman Women's National Championships campaign like they started, posting an 8-0 win against Western Australia. The ADF had to play two tough and physical matches back-to-back leading into the match against NSW Country and Papua New Guinea, but were ready to muscle up again against Western Australia. However, the visitors from the west made the game incredibly tough for them, doing well in defence to keep it to 8-0 at half-time. ADF were unable to cross again in the second half, but also did well in defence themselves to shut Western Australia out. Overall, Western Australia showed plenty of grit against some tough opposition, staying in the fight in all of their matches and it was no different against the ADF in their final match. 

Northern Territory v Fiji

A double to Abigayle Sekitoga helped her side to a win over a gallant Fiji, with Northern Territory claiming a 14-0 victory. Latoniya Norris-Addo got her side on the board first, with Sekitoga crossing soon after to give the NT an 8-0 lead at the break. Through the tournament, the NT have shown what they are made of in the Harvey Norman Women's National Championships, with a win and two incredibly tight losses following their pool games. The NT even lead the undefeated NSW City at half-time of their Day Three match, but conceded the last three tries of the game. Fiji were celebrating after their final pool game on Day Three, scoring a win against Victoria and putting in commendable performances in their other games. The competition newcomers won fans not only for their exciting play where they were not afraid to throw the ball around, but also for their singing and their vocal supporters, which added to the atmosphere each day.

The Harvey Norman Women’s National Championships is proudly supported by Experience Gold Coast.


Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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