The Inverell Highlanders have raised the bar in women’s rugby after easily accounting for the competition in Saturday’s Armidale Blues annual rugby union knockout on Saturday. The women’s score in the sevens comp was 46-0 in the final, after playing five games on the day.
“They scored 176 points scored on the day, with none scored against them,” Highlanders president Josh Phillips said. “I know a number of the girls are still quite young, like 17-18, and I think the top try scorer of the day was Sarah Byrnes.”
The Inverell side have been playing the sport for in excess of a decade and gave the Armidale sides a lesson in the tournament as they showed their skill to win the title.
Their slick skills and footwork was too much for the newcomers to the sport, easily beating the Barbets in the final.
“We have always had some ability but what we have actually found over the last couple of years since the Olympics there has been a lot more opportunities for the girls to play more regular rugby and play at a representative level,” coach Dale Beattie said.
“Because they are able to do that, they are able to grow their game instead of playing here and there.
“It is always to come out and have an early hit out, it builds team morale, shows us our training drills are leading towards something.”
They are about to start a new season of rugby and Dale said his side would only be better for the early hit out.
“The beauty of it is we don’t have to travel hours and hours like sometimes we have to do, a couple of hours over to Armidale and it is great,” he said.
“You just have to get used to playing in all conditions. We would have preferred a dry track to really use our skill and speed but the wet track just adds an extra element to it.”
Josh said they are aiming for the women to play their first match in Inverell against the Tamworth on April 22 at their Highlanders season opener.
“So all grades will be participating as well,” he said. Some of the women on the side will be playing this coming weekend in Foster for the Central North 15s Championships.