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NSW Country clinch National Champs opens title

NSW Country have take out the Harvey Norman National Championships open final following a 24-0 win over Western Australia on Sunday.

Tries to Jessica Gentle, Shannon Rose and Jorja Holden in the opening half set up a 16-0 lead before a further two tries in the second term sealed the win.

Gentle was awarded player of the opens tournament after scoring six tries in four matches and kicking five goals. 

NSW Country went into the clash undefeated after winning five of their regular matches, including a 14-0 win over Western Australia. 

The NSW side got off to a blistering start with WA unable to collect the ball from the kick-off, enabling leading opens try-scorer Gentle to cross on the right edge from the following set.

A head knock to Western Australian five-eighth Jurae Turner didn’t help her side's cause as NSW Country extended their lead to 10 in the eighth minute.

Talented fullback Shannon Rose scored her second try of the tournament when she split the WA defence and ran 40 metres to the line.

Western Australia had a couple of chances to strike back but costly errors in good yardage proved their downfall as NSW Country upped the ante in defence.

NSW Country centre Jessica Gentle was named player of the open age tournament.
NSW Country centre Jessica Gentle was named player of the open age tournament. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

NSW Country added to their lead when Jorja Holden went over on the left edge, vacated by Tiarne Barnett who left the field minutes early after a heavy knock.

The momentum for the Country side continued after half-time with Christa-Lee Smith diving over in the right corner before Gentle grabbed a double with minutes left on the clock to ice the win.


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