GIRL power helped fire Ingham Cutters’ under-12s to a 27-12 win over Teachers West in the Townsville rugby union league.
A post-Covid player shortage has led the Herbert River side to combine with Western Suburbs – but the team went into the game having only scored two tries this season.
The side included three Townsville girls – and one was named player of the match.
Ingham State School’s Carter Bates played a pivotal role in the victory, finishing a slick try in the first half to level the score at 5-5.
Cutters blitzed their opponents in the second half, scoring four tries before conceding late on to leave the score 27-12.
Coach Jimmy Thompson said: ‘I switched Carter to half-back and Thomas Faint to fly-half – and they were both superb.
‘Carter finished off a beautiful sweeping move from our backs to level us up at 5-5 at half-time.
‘He was getting the ball was getting out to our backs – we were a different team.
‘I’d say it was a coaching masterclass [he jokes]’.
On the female trio Thompson said: ‘Sienna Tibachi got player of the match and Kura and Olivia McGregor played really well too.
‘Kura’s [Amory-Hills] in the scrum. I don’t want to be one of those coaches who says cause they’re girls they go out on the wing’.
And on a shortage of players leading to the team’s merger Thompson added: ‘They are a real community club like us.
‘You need 20 players to start a team and we only had that between us’.
Western Suburbs registrar Michelle Faint said: ‘Sienna was amazing. She found her strut and just took off.
‘The girls start timid but after a while they realise there’s no difference and they get stuck in.
‘If anything I think the boys are more afraid of the girls.
‘This is the last season they’ll play mixed. From the next level up they’ll play in girls’ teams.
‘Female rugby in the world is taking off’.
Cutters-Western Suburbs under-11s lost to Teachers West by 10 tries to 7.
But they can be proud of their efforts, having bounced back from losing by 100 points to the same opposition earlier in the season.
Round-up of this weekend’s games to follow.