Group 19 rugby league: Glen Innes Magpies miss out on title

Courtney Watts was the Magpies lone tryscorer in Sunday's grand final. Photo: Lynnette Sims.
Courtney Watts was the Magpies lone tryscorer in Sunday's grand final. Photo: Lynnette Sims.

The Glen Innes Magpies league tag side didn’t manage to claim back-to-back titles after going down to the Inverell Hawks in the grand final. 

The Magpies posted the first points through Courtney Watts in Sunday’s decider but Inverell hit back less than two minutes later. 

A sin bin late in the first-half to the Glen Innes side saw the Hawks capitalise on the siren and lead at the break 8-4. 

The second stanza proved more difficult for the Magpies.

Inverell scored two tries and the Glen Innes team were unable to cross.

The Hawks ran away with the game 18-4 to claim the trophy, their second since the sport’s inaugural year in 2008. 

Coach David Willis said it was a disappointing result with the penalty count going against the Magpies. 

“We were going pretty well until a fair few decisions I had never seen all year came out,” he said. 

Every time we looked like getting on the front foot there was a penalty for some unknown reason.

David Willis

“We had a girl sin binned five minutes out from half-time and then they scored right on half-time.

“In the second-half we never got out of our half.

“Every time we looked like getting on the front foot there was a penalty for some unknown reason. 

“I think the penalties were 12-2.

“Not saying that cost us the game but it gets pretty frustrating.”

Willis credited Inverell’s performance. 

“Inverell played as good as we let them play I suppose,” he said. 

“They got the win and congratulations to them.”

While they missed out on the trophy win, Willis was still pleased with the season.

“More positives came out of it to negatives,” he said. 

“The girls went well. They had a good year.”

As for 2019, Willis believes the majority of the squad will line up again but is undecided whether he will taking up the coaching position. 

“As far as next year goes there would be a fair few of them going to line back up I would say,” he said. 

“I don't know yet, I am going to help them with the nines and see how that goes.”

Glen Innes will enter a team in the Group 19 rugby league nines women’s tackle competition. 

The tournament will be held over six weeks beginning in October. 

An under 17s competition has also been proposed but no confirmation yet.