Sharks prevail in women's Nines clash
Women's rugby league was the big winner as the Sharks struck late to defeat local rivals the Dragons 16-12 in a thrilling Nines contest at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Saturday night.
Fresh from the news that an under-18s competition is set to be launched next year, the two teams put on a spectacular exhibition of Nines in the inaugural derby to showcase the strength of the growing women's game.
It didn't take long for the Sharks to get going with Jade Etherden running the perfect line to open the scoring inside two minutes.
The Dragons were clearly unperturbed by the early setback, hitting back with a try of their own from the very next set as Rikeya Horne turned a questionable cross-field kick into a thing of beauty with speed and strength close to the line.
Jillaroos star Allana Ferguson made it look easy a minute later when she sliced through next to the posts to give the Sharks a six-point cushion, but she was outdone from the very next set as Kezie Apps busted through several would-be defenders to score a breathtaking 60-metre solo try on the stroke of half-time.
It was a very different story after the break with the Sharks barely touching the ball in the second stanza.
Having soaked up plenty of pressure, the weight of possession finally told with Talia Atfield chasing through her own grubber to give the Dragons their first lead of the evening.
The Red V looked odds on to claim the win until superstar fullback Sam Bremner received the perfect bounce from a speculative midfield kick to score in the final minute of the game to give the Sharks a thrilling win.
Sharks 16 (Jade Etherden, Allana Ferguson, Samantha Bremner tries; Maddison Studdon 2 goals) defeated Dragons 12 (Rikeya Horne, Kezie Apps, Talia Atfield tries; goals) at Southern Cross Group Stadium. Half-time: Sharks 10-8.