Illawarra girls impress at NSW Rugby Union State Championships

Reliable service: Illawarra under 16s halfback Cooper Hansen at the NSW State Championships. Picture: Richard Crighton.
Reliable service: Illawarra under 16s halfback Cooper Hansen at the NSW State Championships. Picture: Richard Crighton.

The Illawarra under 17 girls have highlighted a mixed weekend of results for the region’s junior rugby players at the NSW State Championships.

The girls won three of their four pool games to qualify for Monday’s final, where they fell to West Harbour 29-5. The Pirates were the only side to defeat the girls in the group stage, claiming a 25-5 victory on the opening day of the tournament. 

The result comes after a successful few months for the Illawarra girls, with Illawarra taking out the All Girls Rugby Sevens Tournament in Hong Kong before sweeping through the Country Championships undefeated.

The under 14 boys were the next best Illawarra side, with the team picking up victories over Southern Districts and Central Coast on the way to a quarter-final clash with competition favourites Penrith.

The Emus ultimately proved far too good for the Illawarriors, running out 67-0 winners before claiming the grand final on Monday with a 29-10 victory over Gordon. 

The under 13s entered the weekend with high hopes after making the semi-finals last year and winning this year’s Country Championships, however it was not to be this time around.

The side struggled from the outset losing their opening games to West Harbour and Manly before recovering to claim victories over Warringah and Hunter later in the tournament. 

The under 12 boys started the competition on the backfoot, however they finished with a wet sail to win their last two games and claim 13th place. The under 15 boys also struggled, losing a number of tight matches in a winless campaign.

The under 16 boys delivered a mixed bag, recording impressive wins over Penrith and Southern Inland but also falling to Melbourne, Hunter and Sydney University. 

Competing in their first State Championships, the under 15 girls performed admirably, winning two of their five games.

The girls claimed victories over Central Coast and Gordon, however they fell to Hunter and finalists Central North and Randwick/Parramatta.

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