Rabbitohs dominate Women's Champs Grand Final
Four South Sydney Rabbitohs celebrated victory in the inaugural Harvey Norman Women's Championships, while a further five opposed their teammates as NSW Country defeated NSW City 16-12 in a gripping Grand Final.
A total of nine Rabbitohs players were involved in the finals, with Eunice Grimes, Kyara Nean, Nakia Davis-Welsh and Sharon McGrady lining up for Country, and Lavina O'Mealey, Maddie Studdon, Chloe Caldwell, Rebecca Riley and Grace Uluiburotu representing City. Taleena Simon played the first match of the tournament for City, but missed the rest of the competition through injury.
Country scored two late tries to seal the match in the dying minutes, but there was plenty of influence from the South Sydney players as three tries were produced by Rabbitohs representatives.
O'Mealey crashed over in the first half, while Nean produced a powerhouse four-pointer carrying multiple defenders on her back. Studdon scored a crucial try to break the 8-8 deadlock just after halftime, while Rebecca Riley set up the first try early in the contest.
Despite falling late in the contest, Blues co-captain Studdon was brimming with pride after a hard fought battle.
"We gave it our all and I'm proud of all of our girls," said Studdon.
"It was a true clash – two New South Wales sides coming up against each other, it was always going to be hard.
"We play some of those girls each week and we knew it was going to be hard and we gave it our all. But unfortunately, NSW Country was the best side at the end of the day.
"We got a bit mucked around in the first-half not completing our sets and they put a lot of pressure on us.
"The second half they did the same thing and we just made the mistakes which is where their tries came off."
On behalf of everyone at the South Sydney Rabbitohs, we'd like to congratulate all of our representatives throughout the tournament.
NSW Country Squad: Emma Young, Eunice Grimes, Georgina Brooker, Holli Wheeler, Isabelle Kelly, Jayme Fressard, Kyara Nean, Kezie Apps, Kylie Hilder, Melanie Howard, Mikayla Malaki, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Ngalika Barker, Rebecca Young, Rikeya Horne, Ruan Sims, Samantha Bremner, Shakiah Tungai, Sharon McGrady, Vanessa Foliaki, Keleey Davis, Taylah Gray, Hannah Southwell. Coach: Matt Parish.
NSW City Squad: Taleena Simon, Jess Sergis, Corban McGregor, Shontelle Stowers, Patricia Raikadroka, Lavina O'Mealey, Maddie Studdon, Chloe Caldwell, Rebecca Riley, Elianna Walton, Jackie-Anne Tahu, Eliza Wilson, Grace Uluiburotu, Nita Maynard, Montana Fonua, Courtney Yassarie, Karol-Ann Tanevesi, Quincy Dodd, Teina Clark, Sharnita Woodman, Kate Mullaly, Christine Pauli. Coach: Steve Kelly.