Narrabri Rugby League Football Club’s ladies’ league tag team produced a remarkable come-from-behind victory against Moree Boars at Collins Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Bluebirds entered the round one contest searching for their first win in more than two years and they got the job done after prevailing 16-14 in front of a loud home crowd.
Last year’s Group 4 Rugby League season was abandoned amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while the Bluebirds went through the 2019 season winless.
The side’s 2021 season coach Ashley Hynch told The Courier that his players had worked hard and improved significantly during the pre-season and deserved their round one victory.
“It was a good win for the girls, I’m very happy for them,” Hynch said.
“It’s their first win for a long time.
“There’s a lot to work on still to get where we need to be but for the moment we’ll just enjoy this win.”
The Bluebirds trailed 14-0 at half-time in Sunday’s round one match before piling on 16 unanswered points in the second stanza.
“No disrespect to Moree but in the first half we were making them look a way better side than what they were,” Hynch said.
“We needed to start worrying about what we were doing and not what they were doing, but we turned it around which was really good.
“We controlled the ball a lot better in the second half. We’ve worked on playing eyes-up footy and they did that in the second half.
“We were better in defence in the second half too, we were like checkers in the first half, all over the shop.
“We kept our line and moved up as a line in the second half and that really helped.”
Telisha Hilderson was one of the Bluebirds’ standouts on the day, earning the three Group 4 Rugby League best and fairest points.
Hynch said that Hilderson’s performance came off the back of hard work at training.
“Telisha was a standout for me,” Hynch said.
“She’s been training really well too and she steered us around the park really well today.”
Narrabri ran out onto Collins Park on Sunday afternoon determined to start the match on the front foot, however, that did not go according to plan as Moree crossed for a try in the first minute of the contest.
After kicking off, the visitors found themselves in possession following a Narrabri mistake during the first set and the Boars made the hosts pay when Nekkiiah Murray made a break down the left edge and ran 20 metres to open the scoring. The conversion cannoned back off the post and the score remained 4-0.
That became 10-0 in the 14th minute when Moree’s Tileah McGrady scored and converted her own try.
The visitors then entered the break with a 14-0 lead after Leila Murray claimed her team’s third four-pointer with three minutes left to play in the opening half.
When the Bluebirds ran out onto the park for the second half, their remarkable comeback began.
Narrabri struck early in the second stanza when Taylah Fogarty scored the Bluebirds’ first try of the season. Telisha Hilderson converted to make the score 14-6.
Lidia McCauley then took over the match to help the home side complete a memorable come-from-behind win.
With 12 minutes remaining in the match, she beat several defenders on her way to a fine solo try which saw her run 40 metres before going over between the sticks. Hilderson added the extras to reduce the home side’s deficit to two points as the score became 14-12.
The Bluebirds then hit the lead with seven minutes remaining when McCauley turned provider. She received a pass 10 metres out from the tryline down the left edge and ran at the defensive line, drawing in Moree’s right winger in the process. She then threw a bullet pass to Kimberley Laurie who went over in the corner to make the score 16-14.
Moree went close to scoring a winner with 46 seconds left following a line break and after the bell on the last play of the game, but on both occasions McCauley produced try-saving defensive plays to help the hosts secure the two points.
The Bluebirds now turn their attention to a round two clash when they play their first away game of the season against Werris Creek.
Werris Creek lost its round one match 64-0 away from home against Kootingal-Moonbi on Saturday.To order photos from this page click here