Group 10 further enhanced its favouritism in the inaugural Western Women’s Rugby League season on Saturday with a 58-6 thumping of Castlereagh at Bathurst’s Carrington Park.
The Jordan Dwyer-mentored outfit went into the third round undefeated, its most recent effort a 50-0 victory over Woodbridge Cup.
But on Saturday Group 10 was even more impressive and could have won by an even greater margin given seven of its 12 tries went unconverted.
Four of those tries came in the final 12 minutes as the hosts simply outclassed their rivals, their dominance impressive given the limited experience the Group 10 squad has in the 13-a-side tackle format.
“I think there is a bit of a misconception that our girls have played a lot of tackle, but for a majority of them this is only their third ever game of tackle,” Dwyer said.
“They are really acquitting themselves well each week, they are putting into practice what we are doing at training.
“That’s all I’m really after at the moment, I’m not really concerned about the results. It’s nice to win obviously, but just the way they are improving each week, learning off each other and enjoying each others’ company is a great thing.”
Group 10 opened scoring in the hour-long match at the five minute mark, Orange Hawks’ star-in-the-making Lailee Phillips crossing in the left corner as quick hands created a two-player overlap.
However, Group 10 allowed the following kick-off to bounce into touch which gave Castlereagh an attacking scrum feed 20 metres out from the line.
Hooker Sam Turnbull made sure the visitors capitalised as she bullied her way over, showing strength as she dragged three defenders across the line. Tori Canham then converted to give Castlereagh a 6-4 lead.
It was a moment that proved to be a turning point as it sparked the talented Group 10 squad to lift its intensity.
Bathurst Panthers’ Claire Woolmington put Group 10 back in front when she crossed following a scrum, lock Jacky Lyden then steamrolling a would-be tackler to make it 12-6.
Prop Haylee Lepaio was the next to score as charged over almost untouched after captain Amy Copping had forced a line drop-out and when Sally Dwyer dived across the line from dummy-half, it helped Group 10 to a 22-6 half-time lead.
Four minutes after play resumed Hawks’ star rake Ella Harris was rewarded with a try before Castlereagh’s reluctance to tackle the barnstorming Lepaio cost them another.
Phillips, Dwyer and Lyden all joined Lepaio with a brace for the match, while Marita Shoulders and fullback Amy Hewitt also crossed as Group 10 nabbed seven tries in the second half.
“We struggled a bit early, we were a bit off the pace and low on energy levels, but we had a talk after the drinks break and corrected a few things and the girls went out and started to be a bit more structured in the way we went about things,” Dwyer said.
“We got back to the things we do best and that is using our forward pack, we’ve got a really good forward pack.
“We were a bit more relentless in the second half, controlled the footy a bit better and the girls really played to their strengths, they are a good side.
“We have a lot of skill and sometimes we can get carried away because it comes so easy to us at times, but I’m really happy with how we went.
“We’re three from three now and have only let in two tries, which is fantastic.”
- GROUP 10 58 (Lailee Phillips 2, Haylee Lepaio 2, Sally Dwyer 2, Jacky Lyden 2, Claire Woolmington, Ella Harris, Marita Shoulders, Amy Hewitt tries; Bec Ford 5 goals) def CASTLEREAGH 6 (Sam Turnbull try; Tori Canham goal)