The Cobar Roosterettes will go down in history as the first team ever to win the Barwon Darling Women’s League Tag competition trophy.
The local side finished the 2016 season as the inaugural winners of the Barwon Darling Cup League Tag competition after convincingly beating Lightning Ridge 16-4 in Sunday’s grand final in Bourke.
This year’s four Barwon Darling Cup grand final matches were played at Bourke’s Davidson Oval with five out of the seven teams in this year’s competition represented in the Ladies League Tag, Rugby League Under 14s, 17s and Seniors games.
While the Lightning Ridge Redbacks finished this year’s competition as minor premiers of the League Tag competition, it was the Roosterettes who went into Sunday’s grand final as the favourites having beaten the Redbacks 10-0 two weeks ago in their semi final.
The Cobar side took control of Sunday’s match from the outset by immediately putting pressure the Redbacks’ line which resulted in an early try to Taylah Good.
Player of the Grand Final, Lisa Travis, who’d also had a hand in Good’s earlier try, then made the most of a penalty against the Redbacks and darted over for Cobar’s second try.
While Cobar’s No 1 goal kicker Natalie Barnes missed her first conversion attempt, her second kick found its mark and Cobar took a commanding 10-0 lead.
The Roosterettes had the Redbacks scrambling in defence and attack and by the half time whistle Lightning Ridge still hadn’t put any points on the board.
They did however come out firing in the second half and an early unconverted try soon after the restart put them in with a chance with the margin at 10-4 in Cobar’s favour.
The high penalty count against the Redbacks players wasn’t however doing them any favours and after conceding another penalty 10 metres out from Cobar’s line, Good took advantage to dart over and score her second try for the match.
Zoë Harland nailed the conversion sending the ball straight over the black dot to give the Roosterettes a commanding 16-4 lead.
The Redbacks rallied with raid after raid as the clock was ticking down however a number of try saving tags from the Roosterettes’ hardworking Travis and Naomi Whitehurst at fullback, ensured the score remained the same until the final whistle.
Cobar was well served by Travis who was presented with the Ronnie Gibbs Player of the Grand Final award by Ronnie Gibbs.
Other standouts in Sunday’s game were Bek Harris and Jenna Fullagar who both had high work rates in attack and defence.
Harland’s kicks in play gave the Roosterettes good field position and darting runs from Kaitlin Byrne and Brianna Watson kept the Redbacks’ defence busy throughout the match.
Lightning Ridge’s Maria Nagy was named the 2016 Player of the Year and Leading Point Scorer of the Season.