FOLLOWING a 22-point victory in their season opener against Dungog, Stroud Raiders kicked off their Ladies League Tag fixture with the Mallabula Panthers on Saturday in the mood to extend on their positive start to the season.
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Stroud started the strongest, and their early period of dominance paid off after ten minute when Milly Harrison showed great speed to find a gap in a stretched Mallabula defence to score the try to put the Raiders in front.
Stroud crossed the line again after fourteen minutes to put them ten points to the good.
Up to this point, Mallabula had struggled to break out of their half, before a rare break led to a converted try against the run of play, reducing the deficit to four points.
Unfazed, Stroud responded immediately, and went into the half time break with a 16-6 lead, after an amazing solo try and conversion.
It was more of the same after the break, when some dazzling footwork from the electric Milly Harrison put the finishing touches on a free-flowing passing move from Stroud.
Gaps were beginning to appear in the Mallabula defensive line, as they struggled to contain the speed of the Stroud offense.
Stroud crossed the line again minutes later, when a gut-busting run and a defense splitting reverse pass gave Holly Fisher-Webster her second try of the game.
Fisher-Webster converted her own try from the left-hand side of the posts to extend the lead to 26-6 for Stroud.
Try scorers for Stroud on the day were Milly Harrison, Emmalee Harris, Hannah Borg and Holly Fisher-Webster.
Stroud coach Simon Chappell, stuck in Victoria due to COVID-19, was forced to watch the game via videolink.
Chatting to News of the Area via Facetime at the final whistle, Chappell said he was very proud of the way his team had performed.
“Absolutely proud of the team, it was a great result,” he said.
“Even through the phone I could hear the talk from the girls.”
Chappell mentioned in particular the performances of Tash Harris and Holly Fisher-Webster.
“Tash seemed to do very, very well. Obviously as well you have Holly guiding the team around the paddock. She is an absolute asset to the team, she has terrific ball skills and gets the ball wide well,” he said.
Stroud now sit top of the leaderboard after two wins from two.