This weekend saw the Owls XVs Women run out in wet weather conditions yet again in their boots that had barely dried up from the weekend before. The cold rain, muddy grounds and physical opposing team meant we had been there before, and we knew how to get the job done and get the job done we sure did. We put on a performance at Viking Park that showed why the Owls are flying high, when we beat the ViQueens 26-0.
In a blinding run that came as no surprise to absolutely anybody that has watched her play, Pesi Palu got onto the scoresheet early with a try in the first 5 minutes. Pesi’s athleticism is obvious in all of our matches and the opposition is always sure for a bad day at the office when she has the ball in hand. Our powerful tighthead prop Bridgette Cunningham had to step into the role of kicker over the weekend and seemed to be right at home as she slotted 3 of 4 conversions for the day. The wet conditions unsurprisingly saw quite a few handling errors from both sides and this meant that our forward pack kept their shoulders warm with a high number of successful scrums from our Owls women. A dominant set piece is something to be proud of against any team but definitely put a smile on our faces against the ViQueens who are never short of experience and power in their forward pack. This dominance and energy from our women saw Crystal Papali’i cross the chalk in yet another commanding run that could not be stopped by the opposition.
The Women’s team had walked away from the Goulburn game with goals in mind to take to the ViQueens and we made sure to stamp these onto the match. Impressive defensive line speed and rampaging tackles from players like Maddie Gogala and Iris Verebalavu kept the ViQueens on the back foot for most of the game, even when the ball was in their possession. Despite this effort, the ViQueens did have a few moments where they had the line in sight, but it was to no avail as our flanker and Player of the Month for July Tania Afamasaga was able to run down their wingers on two different occasions. This is a feat she will definitely have locked and loaded if the backs ever try and call our forwards ‘slow’.
The second half saw an energy lift and skillful replacements in players like Talei Wilson and Jess Grant. Jess brought out some impressive impact and aggression that she was definitely carrying over from the 10s commanding win in Bungendore just 2 hours earlier and she was instrumental in keeping spirits high for the back half of a physical game. We have been happy to welcome Talei back to Owls land over the past few games after some time off for injury and she has hit the ground running. This was completely true when she brought in our final two tries of the game, crossing the chalk on the wing and putting on some fancy footwork that the ViQueens could not keep up with. After two slippery matches against very physical teams, our Women will be taking next weekend’s competition bye as an opportunity to make sure all cylinders are firing and ready to go for the second half of the season.
The 10s girls trekked it over to good old Bungendore last week for round 5 of their comp. While it may not have been raining, Bungendore sure lived up to their team name (the Mud Chicks). The first play of the game saw the Owls girls soaked in mud head to toe. The girls came out dominant very quickly making big tackles from all players but with special mention to our fierce forwards who put the Mud Chicks in their place.
The forwards continued their dominance throughout the game winning us almost every scrum. While the Bungendore girls may have put on a hard initial push, the Owls forwards were not having any of it and consistently pushed back with even more might.
At round 5 of the comp I think it is safe to say that dominant scrums are a specialty of the Owls girls, on both teams. Jess Grant can be happy with herself for leading the forwards to their success in both attack and defence, landing herself 3 points for player of the match. However, the backs didn’t disappoint with Elka MacKinnon finishing off a spectacular backs ball with a try in the first 5 minutes.
The standout back has to be awarded to Lily Apps who scored 2 tries which can be credited to her strong running and her ability to play heads up rugby. A special mention goes to Amy Daniel who after returning from injury has found herself a new skill: bouncing girls off her chest. Daniels proved to be unstoppable on the wing. The 10s girls dominated all areas of the field which shows in the score (29-0).