Harvey Norman Women's Premiership side fall to CRL Newcastle in arm-wrestle

The South Sydney Rabbitohs Harvey Norman Women's Premiership side have been defeated 24-6 against Newcastle CRL at the Metricon High Performance Centre at Redfern Oval on Old Boys' Day.

Compounded by errors from both sides, the low-scoring affair saw the return of experienced fullback Sharon McGrady in the Red and Green, while also marking the team's first game in 2019 on the hallowed turf. 

In a tense first ten minutes, it looked like Newcastle would be the first to score through winger Alicia Martin, only for the final pass to be called forward. But they would soon go over through a few sets later to open the scoring and with the conversion successful, CRL held an early 6-nil lead.

A Sharon McGrady fumble close to the line was alleviated by the middle defence's efforts to hold CRL up over the line to prevent a certain try.

And on the next play, the right-hand side managed to force their opponents into touch, courtesy of a Karri Doyle tackle sparking the side to get possession back.

A cruel bounce of the ball saw the Steeden bypass the Rabbitohs' defence, with winger Martin scoring the easiest of tries.

On the back-foot, the Red and Green failed to lay down, with five-eighth Lavina O'Mealey looking to inspire her teammates with a big hit in defence.

The Rabbitohs looked to make inroads at the end of the first half, with strong running from captain Rebecca Riley looking to get her side on the scoreboard, but an error after the last pass fizzled out any momentum.

The halftime chat from coach Danny Allende seemed to work, as the Rabbitohs forced an error from Newcastle CRL with a kick close to the line. With the added possession it was Moniqca Mo'ale who added to her try-scoring record for the season to crash over next to the posts. 

Inspired by their teammates' effort, the Red and Green began to make easy ground, with the forwards laying the platform through the middle and the outside backs combining well to earn a number of repeat sets.

Lavina O'Mealey nearly went over with a trademark show and go, with her experience then shining through with a classy grubber to force a drop-out. However, a tackle to force Emily Young out of the field of play to deflate the side's momentum.

The class of Newcastle CRL was too much however, with Australian representative centre Isabelle Kelly crossing soon after. 

Despite their opponents looking to build on their lead, the Rabbitohs aimed up in defence with a number of try-saving tackles and crunching hits with the match turning into an old-fashioned arm wrestle. 

In a period that saw a number of errors from both sides, with Kelly scoring another double to complete her hat-trick. 

 

CRL Newcastle 24 (Isabelle Kelly 3, Hannah Southwell, Alicia Martin tries; Melanie Howard 2 goals)

def

South Sydney Rabbitohs 6 (Moniqca Mo'ale tries; Candice Clay goals)