The Glen Innes Magpies surged to an unbeaten start in the Group 19 women’s nines tournament.
Entering the tackle competition for the first time, the Glen Innes girls got their campaign underway with a 12-nil win over Guyra before toppling Narwan 16-4 at Inverell’s Kamilaroi Oval on Saturday.
Amelia Tunamena missed the opening game but arrived in time to tackle Narwan and said the day’s play left the Glen Innes side “excited” for what is to come.
“The feedback I got from the boys [watching] was Guyra, they are a really big team as in physicality and they were miles bigger than our girls but they all pulled their weight,” she said.
“Even the girls that were starting out were putting on some cracking hits and tackling. I am excited about it.
“There are a few different girls coming together and we have signed another Tingha lady on Saturday, she had been thinking about playing but wasn't sure and we got her to sign up. We will try and get everyone to training and get a bit more structure in.”
A host of the Glen Innes girls played rugby sevens for the premiership-winning Elkettes in 2016. In the lead up to the Group 19 competition, Tunamena said they “missed the physical aspect” of the sport and they were looking forward to getting back into it.
She said it lived up to her expectations.
“You always get a few butterflies just before you go out and then the first hit up you are like ‘yes. This is it. We are back,’” Tunamena said.
“It was great to get out and have the physical side of it.”
“I am excited about whoever we come up against because I feel like there is a bit more to come for our team in terms of getting more in the groove of it, getting more settled in tackling.
“It is showing pretty good promise at the moment.”
Group 19 president Terry Carson was also pleased with the rugby league on display.
“The level of footy played was outstanding,” he said.
“Every time time I watch women's rugby league, the skill level and game quality increases.”
Carson tipped the Glen Innes team as one to watch.
“Newcomers, Glen Innes, were one of the stand out sides, taking off in tackle where they left off in tag. If they keep improving as comp goes on, they will be one of teams beat along with last year's winners, the Moree Boomerangs.
Moree Boomerangs 12 Defeated Warialda 8
Narwan 16 Defeated Uralla 8
Glen Innes 12 Defeated Guyra 0
Moree Boomerangs 18 Defeated Uralla 6
Warialda 18 Defeated Guyra 4
Glen Innes 16 Defeated Narwan 4
Moree Boomerangs 16 Defeated Ashford 0
Narwan 18 Defeated Ashford 0
Narwan 14 Defeated Moree Boomerangs 12