Nelson Bay have moved within touching distance of the midfield glut in the Newcastle Rugby League Blues Tag, after knocking over Macquarie 38-nil on Saturday morning.
The Sharks have proven they’re a contender for the finals spots with big wins over the Scorpions, and the Goannas, in recent weeks, and with six points in hand are now just a single win away from Souths, Lakes United, Kurri Kurri, and Maitland. All four of the midfield clubs have so far scored eight points for their 2019 season.
Club captain Hayley Dews, who scored one of the side’s nine tries at Peacock Field to open the Newcastle Rugby League’s weekend of games, said it was “a little unexpected” to be so close to a playoff spot seven weeks in. She’s not shocked, however, at how well her team has taken to the game after the club returned to the competition this year.
“We’ve been improving every week, when we come up against strong teams like Lakes last weekend playing them gives us a lot to learn, and then we can take that into games like this against Macquarie where we can put them into practice,” she said.
“We’re just seeing where we are for the 2019 season because we have so many new girls in regards to playing rugby league, but I think from where we’ve been going I think we have a shot at making an impact in the league, and pushing for finals.”
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It was all one-way traffic for the Sharks as they recorded nine tries to nil against Macquarie. Michelle Wainwright and Trace Blackburne both scored doubles, while Dews, Hayley Dufour, Georgia Relf, and Michelle Sproule all added to the haul. Blackburne also kicked her first conversion for the club in the 38-point win.
“Michelle Wainwright had such a great game, she played right down the middle and got her tries and then also got player’s player after the win. She’s a really strong player for us, and always gives it her best,” Dews said of her stand-out performers.
“Another great player recently has been Hayley [Dufour], this kind of competition is new for her because she comes from touch, and for her to having things click, and get that try and push on is really special for her. She’s going great.”
Elsewhere on Saturday morning, Central defeated Kurri Kurri in a close 16-14 clash at St Johns Oval. Rachel Jeffs scored twice for Charlestown, while Casey Youngberry claimed a double for the Bulldogs. Blanche Morrissey’s kicking was the difference, as she slotted two of the three conversions to give the Butcher Birds their two-point margin.
The fixtures betwene Lakes and Cessnock, as well as Wests and Souths, were delayed due to heavy rain on Sunday morning. Maitland had the bye.
TABLE: Central (14), Wests (10), Souths, Lakes, Kurri, Maitland (8), Nelson Bay (6), Cessnock, Macquarie (2).