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Monaro talent shines in Southern Gala Day

Monaro talent shines in Southern Gala Day (Photo : NSWRL)
Monaro talent shines in Southern Gala Day (Photo : NSWRL)

Monaro talent shines in Southern Gala Day

Author : Jeff Hanson

Monaro talent shines in Southern Gala Day

A celebration of NSWRL Blues Tag was held in Boorowa on Sunday as Monaro, Western, Riverina, and Illawarra-South Coast came together for the Southern Opens Representative Gala Day.

Following some thrilling results on a stunning spring day, the best was saved for last, as the unbeaten Western Rams took on the Monaro Colts for the trophy and bragging rights.

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The defensively strong Rams won their way into the final game defeating Illawarra-South Coast 16-4 and Riverina 18-4.

Monaro had an up-and-down road to their Round Three winner-take-all fixture against Western, earning a convincing 32-6 win over Riverina before managing a last-gasp 10-10 draw with Illawarra-South Coast.

Still, the Colts lifted another gear in the final game with Caitlin Turnbull crossing for a first-half double and Emma James converting both tries to take her side ahead 12-0 at the break.

Keesha Kapea took Monaro further ahead (18-0) after halftime, with the talented fullback scoring her third try of the day. But the Rams hit back through Saxbi Shaw scoring to trail 18-6 with five minutes left.

Monaro talent shines in Southern Gala Day

Monaro talent shines in Southern Gala Day

Putting the result beyond doubt, Monaro playmaker Alicia Trevathan streaked clear down the left touchline. Kapea converted to put the exclamation mark on a dominant 24-6 Colts victory.

Kapea was named ‘Player of the Day’, but she quickly deflected all the praise onto her Monaro teammates, who came out of the Canberra Region Rugby League and George Tooke Shield competitions.

“There was absolutely no weak link in our team, and everyone is just so strong across the park,” Kapea said.

“When we come up against each other in different competitions, it’s always good to watch, and it has helped build a really strong Monaro team, which we saw today.”

The Southern Gala Day, which was played on the same weekend as the Central cluster in Sydney on Saturday and the Northern cluster in Coffs Harbour on Sunday.

Showcased the best Blues Tag talent in the region and offered a vital pathway to representative honours for players.

“It’s huge to continue comps like these for League Tag, and especially to reward players after strong local competitions,” Kapea said.

“It’s a great pathway, especially if you want to play non-contact, and it’s always an excellent way to play some higher-level Rugby League before taking that next step up to contact if that’s what you want to do.”

On top of some great Blues Tag action, Boorowa Rovers Rugby league Football Club should be commended for hosting the event in a last-minute change of location.

Southern Gala Day Results:

Round 1

Monaro 32 def Riverina 6

Western 16 def Illawarra-South Coast 4

Round 2

Monaro 10 drew Illawarra-South Coast 10

Western 18 def Riverina 4

Round 3

Illawarra-South Coast 12 def Riverina 6

Monaro 24 def Western 6

Ladder: Monaro 5, Western 4, Illawarra-South Coast 3, Riverina 0.

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