Warriors take out title

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By Cpl Zenith King

The Australian Services Rugby Union Women Warriors smashed the competition to take out Division 2 of the national championships held at the West Brisbane Bulldogs Rugby Club from July 1-5.

After a week of training and four days of competition, the women took two matches and tie one before walking away victorious by beating South Australia 24-3 in the final.

Blindside flanker Cpl Mollie Gray, HQ 7 Bde, played in the nationals for the first time and was surprised by the calibre of the competition. She also rated a mention at the national presentations held afterwards.

“Nationals were a tough tournament but we really stepped up and took it to the field,” she said.

“We knew our main strength was in our fitness, speed and ability to spread the ball wide.

“We played three hard games against Victoria, Northern Territory and SA but by the time we made the finals and had to play SA again, we knew what we had to do to win.

“It was a tough game but we knew that as long as we got the ball wide we could use our fitness and strength to push their lines and score some tries.

“We worked hard to make it to the finals and to take away a win shows how determined we were.”

The team was picked after the Services Rugby Championships in May and comprised 12 Army, six Air Force and six Navy players.

They came together in Brisbane on June 21 to begin training and played their first trial game against a local rugby side, Sunny Bank, on June 23.

“It was a tough game. It really gave us the opportunity to see what our weaknesses and strengths were and what we needed to work on for the nationals,” Cpl Gray said.

“Another trial game was played against Sunny Bank a week later. It was fantastic to see how far we had come in just a week and we could really see a solid structure forming on the field.”

For Cpl Gray, winning was a great feeling but she said seeing the progress made by the team was the most rewarding part of the tournament.

“I think it’s amazing to see how far we came in two weeks. It’s hard playing with a new team but we came together with the same goal and to take away first place was an amazing feeling,” she said. “We are all very proud of our efforts and the outcome. We worked really hard and deserved to take away the trophy.”

ASRU 22 b Victoria 14.
ASRU 29 b Northern Territory 17.
ASRU 10 drew with South Australia 10.
Final – ASRU 24 b South Australia 3.

Army Players:
Capt Kate Porter, 11CSSB.
Lt Caroline Vakalahi, JMCO.
Capt Jasmin Diab, IRR.
Lt Stacey Eason, 3HSB.
Lt Rheanna Vehlow, 6ESR.
Sgt Ionie Jackson, Army School of Health.
LCpl Fasheena Nevell, 1HSB.
LCpl Emma-Lee Wood, 6RAR.
Cpl Jessica Clifford, 3CSR.
Cpl Penny Dukes, 3CSSB.
Cpl Mollie Gray, HQ 7 Bde.
Cpl Kelly Boye, 3CER.

ASRU-W player of the tournament – halfback PO Nicolle Palmer.
Best and fairest – number 8 AB Sarah Beard.
Best forward – second rower Off-Cdt Kate O’Brien.
Best back – winger LCpl Emma-Lee Wood.

warriors image

On the attack: Lt Caroline Vakalah, JMCO, breaks away with the ball in the Division 2
grand final match against South Australia at the 2011 National Women’s Rugby Championships, Toowong, Brisbane. ASRU won 24-3. 

warriors 3

Wallaroo player, and team skipper Capt Kate Porter, 11CSSB, attempts to break a tackle.

warriors 2

Vehlow, Sgt Ionie Jackson, Cpl Mollie Gray, Capt Kate Porter and WO2 Greg Ralph (medic). Middle: WO1 Joe McIvor (coach), LCpl Fasheena Neville, Cpl Penny Dukes, Cpl Jessica Clifford, Lt Caroline Vakalahi and LCpl Emma-Lee Wood.

Front: Lt Stacey Eason, Capt Jasmin Diab and Cpl Kelly Boye.


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