Women's Over 30s Match Reports
Women’s Over 30s Game 3 – Sunday, June 13
Women Close Gap from Second Test Match
Australia - 5 defeated New Zealand - 0
With a close fought series throughout the first two games, much is expected from this final encounter. Australia have the first tap off and run a three woman drive, but New Zealand’s defensive effort is solid and the ball is turned over. Several sets of six traded while the teams work each other out. A high error rate from Australia allows New Zealand time with the ball in hand, but they are unable to convert it to points.
Australia’s Deb Steinhardt opened the scoring in the left hand corner after a scrambling Kiwi defence failed to recover quickly enough. Two minutes later Gizelle Martin split the visitors again and scored with the New Zealand link and winger failing to save in time.
A minute before halftime the Australian’s got their third after Kellie Johnston breached the line and New Zealand began the second half with all the work ahead of them. Three minutes in the Kiwis attempted an intercept, but it went to ground and Australia were gifted excellent field position. The New Zealand defence holds, but gives up multiple penalties on the line, which to their credit is not crossed.
Sets of six are traded until Gizelle Martin manages a long ball to Deb Steinhardt who scores on the left wing for Australia. The Aussie got their fifth through Kirstie Wakely after an extended period of back and forth play. New Zealanad best chance came in the dying stages of the match through an intercept, but after flowing down the field conceded a forward pass on the Australian line.
The New Zealand women were competitive throughout the series but in this game, as with the others, Australia had the edge where it mattered.
Women’s Over 30s Game 2 – Saturday, June 12
Australian Women Too Strong and Take the Series
Australia - 7 defeated New Zealand - 2
Yesterday these two teams had nothing between them so as Australia tap off, the crowd looks forward to another good game. The Aussies immediately string together an impressive attacking raid and quickly score with a slick pass to Holly Smith.
New Zealand are quick to fight back, but turn the ball over and Australia sniff a chance and take the ball down to the in goal area with the dummy half offloading to Gizelle Martin for another Touchdown. The Kiwi women respond with a quick pass to the captain Anita Boyd who Touches down to get her team back in the game.
Five minutes into the half New Zealand receive a penalty after Australia delays play and then receive another for offside, but are unable to capitalize and the ball is handed back to the home team. The next time they go on attack however, New Zealand couldn’t be denied with Sarah Nash running several two man plays and eventually drawing the Australian defence to unlock Kelly Panapa who scored from a long ball on the wing to tie the game.
With Australia putting together more attacking plays they eventually get over the line with Gizelle Martin diving through on a questioned miss from Charlene Porima. Two minutes before half time New Zealand received a penalty on the attacking 5 meter line but were unable to convert to points.
Halftime had the match poised for a tight finish, with a similar margin to yesterday’s game. Both teams were playing tight defensive patterns and being patient to break through on attack.
The second half commenced with a strong attack from New Zealand but their winger unable to hold on to the long ball pass. The Kiwis then give away a penalty for delaying play and Australia capitalized with a Touchdown to Brooke James, pushing their lead out to 4-2.
Australia then managed to string together two sets of 6 on the New Zealand line as the result of two penalties. New Zealand stoically held on and turned the ball over to put together a good counter attack but unfortunately the dummy half was caught early. After a back and forth period of play Australia create another Touchdown and when Brooke James split the New Zealand defence as dummy half and offloaded to the winger Kirsty Wakel, the game was as good as won.
In the dying seconds the Aussies scored again through Cherie Marsh and concluded the game with a convincing win 7-2 win. This wraps up the series for the Australians and tomorrow NZ play for pride.
Women's Over 30s Game 1 - Friday, 11 June
Australia - 3 defeated New Zealand - 1
Both teams of women looked particularly fit and nothing like over 30s. Australia tapped the ball and drove straight to the line to score the first Touchdown with Holly Smith. Clearly not the start New Zealand was hoping for.
Australia were straight back on attack after a handover, but New Zealand held them out with some resolute defending by Sarah Nash. Australia attacked on the left and right flanks on the next two roll balls, with New Zealand saving Touchdowns by desperate but effective diving Touches by the wingers.
Australia were playing the game with great speed and attacking nous after early mistakes by New Zealand, but the Kiwi women stood strong and prevented further scoring. The visitors though continued to turn the ball over through early mistakes in the Touch count and would have to improve this to truly get into the game.
One minute before half time Australia force the New Zealand defence to save, throw a long ball and score in the left-hand corner with Debra Steinhardt going over for a well-constructed Touchdown and 2-0 lead. In the last 30 seconds of the half, New Zealand mount several attacking raids but are unable to capitalize.
The second half began with New Zealand creating a quick movement down to the Australian line. A ball was passed out to Cushla Mullany, which she took high in the air, and ducked underneath the saving winger to score wide in the corner and put her team right back in the game.
New Zealand got back on attack and were looking like they were setting up for their second Touchdown but the fumbled ball and created an early turnover in the count.
The next passage of the contest featured very solid defensive patterns from both teams, forcing errors and early turnovers .
The Kiwis were desperate to score again and force a drop-off but Australia held strong and were able to utilise the speed of ball movement with Amanda Burdette diving outside the New Zealand link to score the final Touchdown of the night.
Both teams displayed very solid defence which negated much of the attacking play. There’s nothing between these two teams and tomorrow’s game could be anyone’s. Stand out player for New Zealand in this encounter was No: 1 Sarah Nash for her defensive display.