If no-one predicted the men’s Country Championships result, not many would have picked the outcome of the women’s tackle showdown either at the Cessnock Showground this afternoon.
While the Greater Northern Tigers stunned the Newcastle Maitland Region Knights 34-12 in the opening round of the tournament, the reverse situation occurred in the other encounter, with the female Knights demolishing the Tigresses 26-0.
Unfortunately for the GN women, they couldn’t find the right combinations and trailed 16-0 at the break.
Speedy Knights fullback Taylah Gray crossed for two terrific tries for the hosts, while Nicole Stanfield, Robyn Draper and Rhianna Cipta also touched down.
Ashlee Harvey booted three goals for good measure.
Centre Shae Pemberton, second-rowers Brooke Davis and Brooke O’Halloran as well as hooker Sarah Stewart had strong games for the outgunned Tigers.
It came after Greater Northern snared the under-18 Laurie Daley Cup fixture 20-18 and Newcastle Maitland overpowered its rivals 26-16 in the under-16 Andrew Johns Cup encounter.
Unfortunately for the Tigers’ youngest representatives, they’ve now lost four matches on the trot.
But, they led 16-12 today before imploding and letting the Knights cross for two converted tries.
Meanwhile, the Darryl Rando-coached under-18s held on to scramble a two-point victory after trailing 6-0 early and going into the break locked at 12-all with the Knights.
Two second half tries to Luke Smith and Corben Hampstead were enough to make it three wins from four games for the side.
“We made too many mistakes again,” Rando said of a match he admitted to having no “fingernails or hair left”.
“We’re struggling to win games because of that.”
All attention turns to this weekend’s Country Championships matches against Western Rams in Tamworth.
- by Geoff Newling
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS v NEWCASTLE MAITLAND REGION KNIGHTS SCOREBOARD
ANDREW JOHNS CUP
NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 26 (George Beagen, Lauma Vaai, Harper Collins, Jacob Marshall, Chase Morris tries; Tyrese Gordon 3 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 16 (Drewe Gilbert 2, Talon Harrington, Callum Dowell tries)
LAURIE DALEY CUP
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 20 (Pichai Dixon, Harry Reid, Luke Smith, Corben Hampstead tries; Mitch Henderson 2 goals) d NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 18 (Tyrese Edwards, Joshua Andrews, Harry Hore tries; Liam Browne 3 goals)
MEN’S COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 34 (Reece Jaeger 2, Daniel Hoogerwerf, Brett Jarrett, Brady Benkovic, Scott Blanch tries; Scott Briggs 5goals) d NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 12 (Dyllan Parlane, Boston Smith tries; Kendyll Fahey 2 goals)
WOMEN’S COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS
NEWCASTLE MAITLAND KNIGHTS 26 (Taylah Gray 2, Nicole Stanfield, Robyn Draper, Rhianna Cipta tries; Ashlee Harvey 3 goals) d GREATER NORTHERN TIGERS 0