The Illawarra’s growing female rugby league talent was on display yet again on Saturday as Ron Costello Oval played host to the girls leaguetag grand finals.
Such is the growth of the girl's game, the Illawarra Junior Rugby League was forced to play the leaguetag finals at a separate venue to the boys for the first time.
Illawarra Junior Rugby League’s Luke Potter said the third year of the competition was the most successful yet, with the product on the field improving rapidly.
“I was really impressed with what I saw on Saturday,” Potter said. “The skill level, the ball handling, the eyes up football and ability of the girls to see what’s in front and know what they need to be doing was high quality.
“Speaking to a lot of parents, a lot of girls have made the decision to leave netball and come across to leaguetag because it offered more. They’re able to be in a club environment with the brothers and fathers, it’s more of a family thing, with everyone together playing a family sport.”
Shellharbour and Wests were the most successful clubs on Saturday, with the the clubs taking out two grand finals each.
The Devils swept the two 12 years divisions, triumphing over Shellharbour in the second division and Collegians in the first division.
Ellecia Brooks crossed four times in the 40-0 victory over Shellharbour, claiming player of the match honours in the process. Caley Tallon-Henniker then starred for the first division team, as they triumphed 26-8 over Collies. Tallon-Henniker snared a hat-trick and was named player of the match.
Shellharbour’s two victories came in the 16 years second division and the 14 years title. The 16s overcame Dapto 10-6 in a tight affair, with try-scored Acacia Decker winning player of the match.
The 14s were also forced to play a tense contest, overcoming Collegians 14-6.
Collegians rebounded to claim the 16 years first division crown, defeating Woonona 12-10. Corrimal edged Thirroul 20-14 in the 10 years final and Berkeley took out the 14 years second division with a 12-0 win over Woonona.