'Massive effort': Emu Park women make it five straight
RUGBY LEAGUE: The Emu Park women have maintained their stranglehold on the Rockhampton nines competition, winning the event for the fifth straight time yesterday.
The Emus ran out 13-6 winners over a determined Rockhampton Brothers in a thrilling grand final at Browne Park.
The Yeppoon Seagulls claimed the Division 1 men's title with a 29-7 win over the Mackay Magpies, while Gracemere Cubs Old Boys beat Bluff Rabbitohs in the Division 2 men's final.
Emu Park were unbeaten heading into the women's decider but it was clear from the outset they weren't going to have things all their own way.
Brothers' steely defence denied them for the best part of the first half before Tashina Ketchup crossed for the opening points of the game.
Rhiannon Revell-Blair scored with 45 seconds on the clock to give the Emus an 8-nil lead at half-time.
A reinvigorated Brothers stormed back after the break, Rikara Benjamin's converted try in the second minute getting them within two points.
The Brethren kept pushing for points but were thwarted when Revell-Blair produced a brilliant try-saving tackle.
Revell-Blair then looked set to repeat her heroics at the other end of the field as she raced over the try line only to have the ball knocked from her grasp under the posts.
The game hung in the balance at 8-6 but Tylah Phillips sealed the result with a bonus-point try in the dying minutes.
Emu Park had another reason to celebrate when the talented Sarah Field was named women's 'player of the carnival'.
Captain Samartha Leisha, who was playing with Emu Park for the first time at the nines carnival, was thrilled with the victory.
"It's a good start to the season for Emu Park and it's a good start for women's league here in Rocky,” she said.
"Defence was the main thing for us and just gelling together as a team.”
Victorious coach Jason Field said winning five straight was "a massive effort”.
"I was very happy with the win but also the way the competition is going,” he said.
"That was probably one of the best games of footy I've seen in a long time.
"These games just show the quality of women's league in the local area.”