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New England Rugby Union: First-up loss costs Elkettes the first spot in grand final

The Glen Innes Elkettes have one more chance to qualify for the New England women's 7s decider after missing out in the major semi-final.

The Elkettes were thrashed 29-nil in their opening game against the Pirates but then turned it around in the second game to do what no side has managed this year - beat the Pirates.

The Glen girls started the game strong with a Sarah Byrne runaway try before the Pirates hit back with two tries.

Elkettes' Ebony Gallagher finished off a backline movement before Bella Reardon scored the match-winner for the Glen side to take a 15-12 victory.

The scores from both games are added up to get a total score and, unfortunately for the Elkettes, their opening game cost them.

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"I think we went into that first game too casual," skipper Sarah Byrne said.

"In finals you need to have the want to win and I think in that second game we just thought 'what have we got to lose really? Let's just give it a crack, try a few things and play for each other' so it was good."

Since they hit the field in round three (the first two rounds were byes), the Elkettes have only strung together two wins in the one day twice.

Both times were against sides who failed to make the finals.

Byrne said they need to work out how to put together two victories before next Saturday's do-or-die preliminary final against the Armidale Blues.

"Our biggest thing for the next two weeks will be to play two games," she said.

"It has been our biggest problem all year and we just have to find something at training to make us lift in that first game."

Byrne said the positive for the side was they now know they can beat the best team in the competition.

"Real good to be the first team to beat Pirates all year," she said.

"Heads were down in the first game but it is good to know we can do it and hopefully see them at Scully Park in two weeks."

Saturday's preliminary final will be at Armidale's Alcatraz and will also be live-streamed.

Byrne believes it will be a "tough" clash against the Blues who they split the points with in round four.