Maitland have stepped into the NHRU Women’s final three after a 33-5 victory over Merewether Carlton at No.2 Sportsground on Sunday afternoon.
Jorja Holden was the architect of the Blacks’ five-try win, crossing twice in the 38-point battle. The Greens were only able to score once through Brittni-Rae Sager, but held Maitland out for most of the first half.
Maitland led just 7-5 at the half on Sunday, before they were able to find advantage in the second stanza to power past Merewether with 25-points.
The Blacks have earned their ticket to face second-placed Hamilton, who pushed the undefeated Waratahs to the absolute limits on Saturday at the same venue. The Hawks only lost due to regular-season standings, in the end.
The ‘Tahs, who hadn’t taken to the field in over a month due to finals byes, forfeits, and inclement weather pushing back the entirety of the NHRU finals circus last weekend, held on late to deny the Hawks an upset victory.
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Theresa Wilhelmus and Tahlia Goldsmith both scored early for the minor premiers, before Hamilton struck back twice – and slotted a conversion – to lead as the second half loomed. A second for Wilhelmus kept the Tahs ahead by five at the break.
Another rapid-fire double for the Hawks put them back in front, 24-17, before Maya Stewart had the last say in the clash to score the last try. Reds kicker Goldsmith slotted the chance, levelling the scores at 24-24.
The drawn score saw the higher-ranked team – the Waratahs – through to the grand final, while the Hawks were bumped into the preliminary final. Hamilton’s four tries were scored by Loagan Flanagan, Nicole Flanagan, Viana Bainivalu, and Ebony James.
The Tahs now wait in the women’s grand final on Saturday, September 21, while Hamilton and Maitland will battle for the second place in the decider this weeked on Saturday, September 14. Kick-off is slated for midday at No.2 Sportsground.
Photos from both Waratahs vs Hamilton & Maitland vs Merewether to come.