Wildfires Women Put Gordon To The Flame As Bay Ladies Shine

Kate Holland wrapping up her Gordon counterpart around the fringes on Saturday. Photo by Stewart Hazell.


THE Hunter Wildfires Women put Gordon to the flame over the weekend in Newcastle, racking up a 53 to 0 scoreline in round 5 of the Jack Scott Cup in the Shute Shield competition.

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The team which features Port Stephens’ powerhouse Kate Holland started strong against their Sydney-based counterparts taking a 19 to 0 lead into halftime.

The Fires had all cylinders at maximum combustion throughout the match dominating set pieces and playing some expansive rugby with the ball in hand.

Holland packed into the second row and drew on her Nelson Bay Rugby heritage to help steer the forwards around the park where they prevailed at scrum and lineout time.

The Fires backline were ice hot in their execution as they easily contained Gordon’s attacking raids and were able to turn them on their heels putting on try after try to close out the match.

Holland who has represented the region in Rugby 7s, Netball, Touch Football and AFL said that the shift to the 15-a-side form of rugby has been a welcome challenge.

“It’s been tough and very physical but I’ve been loving the level playing for the Wildfires brings,” said Holland.

“It’s a great introduction to 15s and definitely sets the bar high, it’s been so beneficial to my development and putting new skills into practice against and alongside talented players.”

Holland says that her position in the forward’s engine room has been a real baptism by fire.

“I’m still learning so much about the game and I’ve been just focusing on my role and the jobs I have to do as a second rower which has been really good.

“I never realised how intricate 15s was till I packed my first scrum and all the technical ins and outs of it, but game by game I’m getting there,” said Holland.

Like all good things in life they’re best enjoyed with some laughter and the Wildfires women’s unit is no different.

“I’ve really enjoyed the Fires team culture, it’s been really positive and full of laughs,” said Holland.

“The pre-game tunes are something we definitely all bond over.”

Kate has also been carpooling into Newcastle with her Nelson Bay Groper cohort for training and swears by the benefits of the ritual long neck debrief.

By Mitch LEES


Holland about to cart it up off the back of the ruck as the night lights kicked in. Photo by Stewart Hazell.

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