THE Nelson Bay Rugby Club women’s sevens team capped off a twilight showcase for the NHRU Women’s Summer 7s competition by taking the spoils in both their matches at the Tomaree Sports Complex on Friday 14 February.
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Six teams from across the Hunter descended on Port Stephens for the second round of the competition that saw some dizzying defence and dazzling footwork in front of a vocal crowd.
The Groper women took on Waratah in their opening fixture and after trailing 15 nil at the break were able to regain some composure to come home strong with a 20 to 15 win.
Jemma Astley was brutal in defence for the Gropers and captain Kristy Cooper hit the afterburners to bag a hat-trick of tries in the dying minutes of the match.
Rhys Cutbush, women’s sevens coach, said he was impressed with the resolve his squad showed against a fast starting Tahs team.
“The girls kept their heads up after being down three tries zip at the half and we knew that if we could just maintain possession our speed out wide would get us home,” said Cutbush.
In the next match the Gropers were full of confidence coming up against the Wanderers and overpowered their opponents to win 32 to 0.
Again captain Cooper was busy with the ball scoring the first try in the opening 30 seconds.
From there the Gropers shutdown the Wanderers with some heaving defensive efforts from Cassidy Carter and Jemma Astley.
Cooper bagged another hat-trick with Jenna Affleck and Brie Carter adding a couple of five pointers to the tally sheet.
Cooper praised her team’s efforts and was humbled by the community support on hand.
“It’s great to represent Nelson Bay and have a good base of support for women’s sport in Port Stephens,” said Cooper.
“We hope to carry this momentum from the summer comp into the regular season and get a strong 15-a-side women’s team for the Gropers this year.”
For upcoming fixtures head to https://www.facebook.com/NelsonBayRugbyClub/.
By Mitch LEES