Country Championships next target for Illawarra rugby union girls

Victorious: The Illawarra under 19 girls sevens team after their victory in Hong Kong. Picture: KM Photography
Victorious: The Illawarra under 19 girls sevens team after their victory in Hong Kong. Picture: KM Photography

There will be no time to rest for the Illawarra girls rugby sevens teams, with the players to turn their attention towards the longer versions of the game.

The girls recently returned home from a successful tour of Hong Kong, with the under 19s taking out the All Girls Rugby Competition, the world’s biggest girls rugby sevens tournament.

However, they must immediately shift their focus to preparing for the NSW Country Championships in the Central Coast on the fifth and sixth of May.

The under 15 girls will contest a tens tournament, while the under 17s will play a full 15-a-side competition. 

“Up next for the girls is the under 17 and under 15 Country Championships,” Manager Lusii Tanevesi said. “We have a muster at Avondale on Friday night and then the competition is the fifth and sixth of May.

“The Illawarra girls are reigning champions, and this is the first time we’re taking two teams as opposed to one.”

The under 19s team swept through the Hong Kong tournament undefeated, overcoming numerous injuries to defeat hosts Sai Kung in the final.

Illawarra started the match on the back foot, falling behind 12-0 early, but they bravely fought back and a try on the stroke of halftime kept them within sniffing distance. 

Two tries early in the second half put Illawarra in front and that was where they stayed, desperately defending their line as their opponents launched wave after wave of attack through the final four minutes. Illawarra won 15 points to 12. 

“It was pretty intense, it was a close, hard game, similar to the game we played against Sai Kung the day before.

“We started the tournament with nine players, but lost one to injury on the opening day, so we only had eight for the final. Another girl got concussed in the final, so we were down to seven and the girls fought really hard to win.”

The under 16 girls team finished fourth after losing the Plate final to Sydney East Magic and Tanevesi praised the girls for their effort. 

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