Vipers suffered a blow in the lead-up to their Western Women’s Rugby League debut at Carrington Park on Saturday, with first grade forced to withdraw from the 2019 competition, but the fledgling club’s under 18s showed there’s a very bright light at the end of the tunnel.
Led by a hat-trick from Tabua Tuinakauvadra, a double from fullback Libby Smith and a starring role from half Kiara Sullivan, the Vipers’ under 18s produced a stirring 48-12 victory against fellow newcomers Panorama at Bathurst.
Panorama Platypi kicked off the day with an equally impressive 32-12 victory over Vipers in the under 15s.
Elsewhere, Mudgee opened its WWRL premiership campaign with a bang, holding firm against a fast-finishing Woodbridge Cup to win 36-32 at Canowindra’s Tom Clyburn Oval.
While Woodbridge Cup speedster Molly Hoswell was the stand-out player during Saturday’s opening round scoring five tries in her under-18 side’s big win over Mudgee, the senior Dragons girls prevailed on the back of a five-star showing from Harriet Messner.
Messner was instrumental in the Dragons’ first-up win and helped steel her side’s goal-line defence at the death, when Woodbridge Cup was throwing everything at the Red V wall.
“There was a head clash between two of our girls with five to go and they defended line with just nine players, and no reserves, for that whole time. It was pretty pleasing to see,” Dragons official Kathy Lang said..
“It was the first game of rugby league for all of them. It’s definitely something for them to build on and hopefully it’ll encourage a few more girls to come along and be involved.”
Haley Joseph scored a treble for the Dragons while Billy-Jane Hoole crossed for a brace in the four-point win, Messner kicked four goals.
For the Cup girls, Sarah Reyter bagged a brace while Nikita Campbell, Hayley Sharpless, Paige Selten and Chloe White all got their names on the scoresheet.
In the lower grades, Hoswell’s five-try effort highlighted Woodbridge’s big 66-8 win over the Dragons in the under 18s, while the Cup under 15s girls also enjoyed a strong win, Taylor Keppie scoring four tries in a 54-8 triumph.
In other first grade results, the Panorama Platypi had a bye and the Dubbo-based Goannas girls enjoyed a strong, 22-4 round one win against Castlereagh at Baradine.
Next week, Mudgee hosts the Goannas at Glen Willow, Woodbridge Cup takes on Panorama at Henry Laweson Park, Grenfell and the Vipers’ lower grades welcome Castlereagh to Orange.
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