Nelson Bay courageous in womens rugby loss to leaders Wanderers

The Nelson Bay Gropers women’s rugby team have plenty of strike power in their back division.

WANDERERS Rugby Club have confirmed their position as favourites for the Hunter Women’s Rugby premiership title.

Geoff Davy’s all conquering Blues showed why they are freely tipped for championship honours after skittling Nelson Bay 38-7 in a midweek clash at Bill Strong Oval.

Dashing Wanderers fullback Georgie Ball produced a best-on-ground performance for the undefeated competition leaders – notching two tries, booting four conversions and creating havoc with her turn of speed and tricky footwork to cap a superb display on a cold night.

Wanderers have won all ten matches this season and top the table on 49 points ahead of second placed Merewether Carlton (45), Hamilton Hawks (42) and Maitland Blacks (36).

Nelson Bay have chalked up six victories from their ten fixtures and remain in fifth spot on 28 points.

Gropers coach Josh Gamgee told News Of The Area that his full strength squad is “very competitive and well and truly in the finals mix”.

“When we can assemble our best lineup there is every chance of figuring in the big end-of-season matches,” revealed a confident Gamgee.

With the Number 2 Sportsground in Newcastle closed for the week, the Women’s fixture against ladder leaders Wanderers was relocated to Bill Strong Oval.

Nelson Bay capitalised on early possession from their power forwards to nab the opening try of the match.

A slick backline movement resulted in classy centre Tash Harris stepping through the opposition and outpacing the cover defence to score, with fly half Ebony Oakley landing a tough conversion for a 7-0 lead.

In a game of fluctuating fortunes and with field position vital the Blues’ larger forward pack soon gained the upper hand.

Tries by Ball and flying winger Kelby Curtis helped the Blues establish a 12-7 lead at the half time interval against a tenacious Gropers outfit who tackled themselves to a standstill.

Wanderers forwards continued to dominate after the break, enabling the Blues’ classy backline to click into top gear with five unanswered tries.

This was not a one sided contest as the score may indicate as there were several line breaks and bruising defence from the Gropers who continued to play exciting rugby and never stopped trying.

Nelson Bay were best served by crack centre Harris, winger Kayla Campbell and fullback Emily Harmon.

The team hosts the Hamilton Hawks this Saturday in a double header at Bill Strong Oval at 4.30pm following the men’s clash with Singleton Red Bulls at 3pm.

By Chris KARAS

Leave a Reply