Souths have taken sole possession of first place in the Newcastle Rugby League ladies competition, edging table-topping rivals the Pickers by four points at Maitland No.1 Sportsground in the Blues Tag eighth round catch-up weekend.
The high-profile NRL league tag contest came down to a battle of the boot in the north-west, as the Lionesses dueled fellow undefeated contenders Maitland at High Street for the biggest prize: uncontested control of first place.
Souths were able to cross three times in the all-important Round 8 clash, with tries from Brooke Carter, Jordan Glanville, and Amy Waterhouse on Saturday.
The Pickers were just as able in attack though; the home side crossed three times too, including a try from Maitland’s fifth-round hero Isabella Mattsson. Number nine Tahlia Howard also claimed a four-pointer for the Pickers.
The Lionesses found the difference from the kicking tee, in the end.
Maitland’s goal-kicker, Breanna Lacy, was able to fire home two of the three changes afforded the home team in the clash. Amy Waterhouse did two better, slotting three goal conversions, and a penalty kick, and delivering Souths the much-needed win.
The win boosts the Lionesses into clear first on 16 points, two clear of the Pickers. Maitland (14) retain their spot in second, but have Wyong and Central breathing down their necks on 12 points each.
The Butcher Birds especially are a danger for the top two as the end of the season looms; the defending champs accounted for Nelson Bay 46–4, and are on a four-game winning streak since falling by just two points to Wests all the way back in Round 4.
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The ladies in blue and white piled on the hurt for the Sharks at St John Oval on Saturday morning, running in eight tries to the away side’s one. Tegan Glover was key in the scoring, crossing twice, while Miquita Clarke kicked four conversions.
Nelson Bay were able to get on the board in Round 8 though, through Eden Houston.
Wyong, Wests, Lakes, Cessnock, and Kurri Kurri were all sidelined for the weekend due to not needing to play any catch-up games. Eight teams, excluded Central (on the bye) will be back in action for Round 9 on Saturday, September 12.
STANDINGS: Souths (16), Maitland (14), Wyong, Central (12), Wests (10), Lakes, Nelson Bay, Cessnock (6), Kurri Kurri (2).