Last Sunday at Jack Arrow Sporting Complex Bathurst the grand finals of the Western Women's Rugby League competition were held. Woodbridge Cup were represented in three matches and although they went down 18-10 in the Opens they were able to secure victories in the under 19s (56-6) and under 17s (32-26).
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In other games on the day the Bathurst Platypi defeated the Orange Vipers 24-14 (under 13s) and in the under 15s the Orange Vipers, after a tight first half, were able to defeat the Dubbo Goannas 32-10.
The Opens match was played in steady rain and was a tight and absorbing affair with the Bathurst Platypi coming out deserved 18-10 winners over a gallant Woodbridge Cup outfit.
In the first 15 minutes of the match Woodbridge attacked the Platypi line but were unable to put points on the board. When it was the Platypi's opportunity to attack they took their chances and opened the scoring with a try under the sticks from a grubber kick. The Platypi were never headed for the remainder of the match and led 10-4 at half-time and then 18-4 until Woodbridge gave themselves a chance in the final 15 minutes with a converted try.
The first 15 minutes of this match ended up being crucial to the outcome through strong Platypi on-line defence and Woodbridge not being able to turn good field position into points.
Grenfell were represented in this match by half-back Caitlin Dixon who had a good competition in the number 7.
In the under 19s match Woodbridge had a big win on the scoreboard (56-6) over a brave Castlereagh Cougars.
The Cougars who cover a massive number of Km just to train and play won through to the Grand Final the previous week when they only had eleven players and defeated the Vipers on the hooter.
The first quarter of the match saw the Cougars dominate through strong running from their big forwards against a nervous looking and mistake riddled Woodbridge outfit.
Woodbridge settled and were only able to get on top of the Cougars just before half-time but they ran away with the game in the second half taking advantage of a tiring and depleted team.
At times Castlereagh who had 11 players were down to just 9 or 10 on the field but Woodbridge also had their injury concerns fielding only the bare 13 themselves.
Castlereagh should be proud of the way they handled the season and should also consider themselves as winners on the day.
Credit though has to be given to this particular group of Woodbridge girls who have only lost one match (ironically against Castlereagh in 2020) in winning four premierships and also have plenty of travelling with their players spread far and wide.
Congratulations to Josh Annis-Brown and his coaching staff and Grenfell girls Tati Hazell, Lily Holmes, and Mackenzie Brenner. Mackenzie unfortunately missed the grand final due to injury.
Woodbridge eventually won the under 17s Grand Final 32-26 against the Orange Vipers after 60 minutes of exciting football where the ascendency swung from team to team.
In the last 10 minutes Orange were making plenty of breaks and it looked like at the very least we were heading to extra time with the Vipers having all the momentum.
The Woodbridge girls were able to just hold on and in the end it was only goal kicking that separated the two teams with the Vipers kicker having many tough kicks due to their tries being scored out wide whereas the Woodies kicker Talieka Burns had a good day with the boot.
One thing that did alter the course of the match was an injury to Taylor Keppie who was having a huge game and when she could not return to the field the Vipers started to dominate through the middle of the ruck.
Congratulations to Grenfell girls Mia Bateman, Emily Brenner, and Taylor Keppie and to Garry Hewen and his coaching staff. Garry "Nails" Hewen has now coached in all four Western Women's Rugby League competitions and has come up with four premiership victories.
"It was a good day for the entire club, everyone from the small towns with the 17s and 19s winning," Woodbridge president Andrew Pull said.
"The 17s was a real good game of footy, really close, both games played well. We probably just had a little bit too much class in that one."
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