Sharks too strong for Big River Country

The Dunedin Wahine Sharks celebrate their 22-15 victory in the Otago premier women’s rugby final...
The Dunedin Wahine Sharks celebrate their 22-15 victory in the Otago premier women’s rugby final in Clydevale on Saturday. PHOTO: NICK BROOK
Dunedin spoiled the country fairy tale to claim the Otago women’s premier club title with a 22-12 win over Big River Country at Clydevale on Saturday.

The first half was a tight tussle with both sides enjoying numerous minutes in possession.

The Sharks showed their danger out wide with a try to winger Oceana Campbell, her first of two, after a good build-up.

Big River Country hit back almost instantly with a try to No8 Tegan Hollows from close range.

The remainder of the first half was a tale of missed opportunities as both sides blew chances to take the lead, and the 5-5 halftime score was a fair reflection of the half with improvements needed in both camps.

Dunedin came out of the gates strongly in the second half, and a few key positional changes allowed the Sharks to attack potently and make some real metres with ball in hand.

Once the visitors got on a roll, they were very difficult to stop, and they controlled the majority of the second half.

Big River Country’s defence was called into question and, for the most part, held strong. However, constant pressure from Dunedin led to gaps opening up for three more tries.

The home team enjoyed some territory and possession for the last part of the match, scoring a try in the final minutes but that was just a consolation.

Dunedin’s pack was strong, but it was the backline that did the most damage.

Maia Joseph shifted to halfback in the second half with Sheree Hume moving to first five, and the pair combined extremely well to get Dunedin on the front foot.

Replacement fullback Meg Breen added impact and was dangerous with ball in hand.

Big River Country was served well up front by captain Hollows and flanker Kayley Johnson.

Outsides backs Nadia Lyders, Sasha Scott and Lily Pringle all had strong games.


Women’s rugby

The final

Dunedin   22
Oceana Campbell 2, Gemma Millar, Atawhai Hotene tries; Sheree Hume con 

Big River Country   12
Tegan Hollows, Isla Pringle tries; Shelby Johnston con

Halftime: 5-5.


-- Francis Parker

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