Gladstone girls' winning roles

WINNERS: Gladstone's Emily Kirkwood is in the yellow jersey in the back row and Hannah Slaughter is third from the left in the back row holding the pennant.
WINNERS: Gladstone's Emily Kirkwood is in the yellow jersey in the back row and Hannah Slaughter is third from the left in the back row holding the pennant. Contributed GLA181016UNION

RUGBY UNION: The Gladstone under-18 youth development team withstood player shortage and injury to finish second at the Western 7s in Emerald on the weekend.

The team, coached by Queensland regional manager Trent Sullivan, fielded just seven players in the grand final against Rockhampton Youth.

"They played extremely well and the girls dug deep after losing one of the players before the grand final because of concussion," Sullivan said.

"All of these girls have never played union before and they really have come on in leaps and bounds where they took it on board."

Mikah Appel, Laken Paitai, Karaa Benjamin, Zoe Calis, Shanea Patullo, Kiara Shortland, Chloe Seeto and Gemma Riley donned the Gladstone colours.

Meanwhile locals Emily Kirkwood and Hannah Slaughter played starring roles Rockhampton's under-15 team.

Ironically both Emily and Hannah were part of side that defeated Gladstone's Chanel College in the decider 19-5.

The success of junior rugby union on top of the Australian women 7s gold medal success has Sullivan to suggest that a stand-alone women's competition may start here.

"Ideally, it would be great for that to start next year," Sullivan said of the stand-alone competition.

"But we are looking to having a Gladstone team joining the Rockhampton competition in 2017."

Topics:  queensland rugby union queensland rugby union championships rugby union news western sevens

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