Clarence Coast’s Renae Binge zooms past the South Grafton defence at Wherrett Park, Maclean.
Clarence Coast’s Renae Binge zooms past the South Grafton defence at Wherrett Park, Maclean. Debrah Novak

Girls tackling league in style

LOWER Clarence Magpies may have won the match but for Rebels under-16 girls rugby league coach Kathleen Hinton, the game itself was the winner on the day.

Hinton has spent countless hours trying to promote girls rugby league in the Clarence and on Saturday at Wherrett Park, Maclean, the first game between the Magpies and South Grafton Rebels finally came to fruition.

The Magpies won the tense encounter 28-20 with Hinton full of praise for both sides who left the field battered and bruised, but with huge smiles on their faces.

“The Magpies had a few players who have played the game before but my girls will improve with more games,” Hinton said.

“There are a couple of areas we need to work on at training during the week. A couple of the girls were a bit timid and threw the ball away, they need to hang on to the ball and get used to being tackled.”

Magpies coach Tim Ryan said he was also impressed with the standard of the two teams and praised Hinton for her efforts in organising the inaugural clash.

It is hoped this will be the leg-up the women’s code needs in the Valley.

“Kathleen did all the leg work. She came to Maclean High asking if any girls were interested in playing and about 10 girls came and asked me if I would coach,” Ryan said.

“It was a good game of league and the skill level of the girls was quite surprising. We have a couple of girls who are touch footballers which helped.”

Hinton said she will be canvassing hard in the next few weeks to see if other schools or clubs are interested to try their hand at league.

“I will be visiting schools in the Coffs Harbour area and I believe Northern United and Casino may be interested in forming a side,” Hinton said.

A rematch between the two sides could take place in the coming weeks with Hinton set to approach the Rhinos Rugby League Club to organise a suitable date.

“I’ll be talking to Pat Swift from the Rhinos this week to see if we can play a game at McKittrick Park before the reserve and A grade matches in two weeks time,” she said.



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