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Victoria’s opens side has started fast at the Harvey Norman National Championships, recording two wins to begin the tournament at Pizzey Park in Burleigh.

The Victorians held on for a narrow two-point victory over the First Nations Gems in the morning before beating the Australian Defence Force in back-to-back games to sit first on the ladder after one round.

Victorian back-rower Jess Rastrick was a standout in both clashes, scoring a try in each, but was later given an official warning by the match review committee for a lifting tackle on ADF playmaker Cassidy Morley.

In the other results in the opens, the Gems won their first match, beating the Northern Territory 10-0 while NSW Country also accounted for the Titans.

In the under 19s division, NSW and Queensland got off to strong starts with their respective sides winning their opening matches of the tournament.

NSW City romped to a 36-0 win over Victoria, but it was rugby sevens convert Jade Te Aute who stole the show with a desperate try-saving tackle with minutes left on the clock to show her never-say-die attitude late.

Reigning champions Queensland Sapphires got their campaign off to a strong start with a 32-6 win over Western Australia.

A hat-trick to Nekina Dingley were among the highlights for the defending champions, who racked up a 32-0 scoreline before conceding a try through a charging Shiane Kani. 

Queensland's other under 19s side, the Rubys, recorded a 36-0 win over South Australia to sit on top of pool B.

Northern Territory's under 19s side produced their best-ever performance of the tournament to challenge NSW Country before going down 20-10 in the final match of the afternoon.

Results - Day 1 (Thursday, June 9)

NSW Country v Northern Territory

A double to NSW Country winger Jessica Gentle helped guide the side to a strong 18-0 win in the opening game of the tournament. 

One of the fittest competitors across both age divisions, Gentle showed a blistering show of pace on the right edge score two tries in five minutes. 

NSW Country captain Brooke Carter and bench forward Terri-LeeVan Wyk also got on the board against a gallant NT outfit. 

NSW Country have the remainder of the day off before preparing for clashes against Western Australia and Victoria on Friday.

NSW Country started their opens campaign with a win over the Northern Territory.
NSW Country started their opens campaign with a win over the Northern Territory. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

First Nations Gems v Northern Territory

The First Nations Gems have opened their account at the tournament with a 10-0 victory over Northern Territory on Thursday morning. 

A line break by Brandii Davis-Welsh on the right edge was well-finished by Baylee Davies in the seventh minute before NT muscled up in defence.

They struggled with their completion rate, however, with the Gems striking late through Madyson Tooth to seal the win. 

NT return to the field on Friday for a clash against Victoria, who the Gems will take on in game three.

The Gems got off to a strong start at the tournament with a win over the Northern Territory.
The Gems got off to a strong start at the tournament with a win over the Northern Territory. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

First Nations Gems v Victoria

Victoria recorded their first win of the tournament with a narrow 6-4 victory over the Gems in match three on Thursday.

The Gems struck first through Lyrech Mara but a missed goal from near the posts proved costly as Victoria hit back through Jess Rastrick with four minutes left on the clock with a conversion ensuring the win.

The Gems will return on day two for clashes against the Australian Defence Force and Western Australia.

Victoria made it two from two to start day one at the Championships.
Victoria made it two from two to start day one at the Championships. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

Australian Defence Force v Victoria

Victoria backed up their win over the Gems with a 12-0 triumph over the Australian Defence Force to make it two in a row to start the tournament.

Tries to Jess Rastrick and Jayne Kareroa inside 10 minutes for the Victorians was enough against a new-look ADF side. 

Victoria made it two from two following a win over the ADF.
Victoria made it two from two following a win over the ADF. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

Australian Defence Force v Western Australia

Reigning champions Western Australia got off to the perfect start in their title defence with a 16-0 win over the Australian Defence Force.

Early tries to Te Rauhina, Juraea Turner and centre Ariana Hira in the opening eight minutes set up the comfortable lead before WA repelled the ADF in the final 12 minutes to keep them scoreless.

Western Australia will return to the field on Friday for clashes against First Nations Gems and NSW Country. 

Western Australia started their opens campaign well with a win over the ADF.
Western Australia started their opens campaign well with a win over the ADF. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

NSW City v Victoria

NSW City started their campaign on the right note with a commanding 36-0 victory over Victoria at the Championships. 

The NSW side scored eight tries to nil in the romp with Roosters product Otesa Pule among those who crossed the line.

It wasn't all doom and gloom for the Victorian side with a scintillating try-saving effort from rugby sevens convert Jade Te Aute with three minutes left stealing the show.

Te Aute chased down Petesa Lio in a 90-metre sprint before jolting the ball free with the try-line in sight.

NSW City recorded a big win to start their under 19s campaign.
NSW City recorded a big win to start their under 19s campaign. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

Queensland Sapphires v Western Australia

The Sapphires started their under 19s title defence with a 32-6 win over Western Australia.

A hat-trick to Nekina Dingley were among the highlights for the defending champions, who racked up a 32-0 scoreline before conceding a try through a charging Shiane Kani. 

WA return on Friday to take on NSW City while the Sapphires will play Victoria.

Queensland Sapphires piled on the points against Western Australia.
Queensland Sapphires piled on the points against Western Australia. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

Queensland Rubys v South Australia

A double to Tahlia Marshall helped the Rubys to a 36-0 win over South Australia in the opening round of the tournament.

Queensland skipped out to a 20-0 lead before play was stopped for more than 15 minutes following a serious leg injury to winger Audrey Holt.

South Australia lifted in spirit following Holt's injury to keep the Rubys to only three more tries but the Queensland side cruised to a comfortable win.

Queensland Rubys recorded a comfortable win over South Australia.
Queensland Rubys recorded a comfortable win over South Australia. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

NSW Country v Northern Territory

NSW Country fended off a gallant Northern Territory outfit 20-10 to finish day one of the Championships. 

The NSW side skipped out to a 12-0 lead early but NT showed some fight to get on the board in the ninth minute through Jonte Fitzgerald.

NSW Country went ahead again to lead 20-6 at half-time but were kept scoreless by NT in the second. 

NSW Country finished the day with a hard-fought win over the Northern Territory.
NSW Country finished the day with a hard-fought win over the Northern Territory. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos



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