Seagals' loss sets up semi against Wallabys
RUGBY LEAGUE: Emu Park is the first side into the women's grand final after it proved too strong for Tannum Seagals at the weekend.
The Seagals had their backs against the wall before kick-off with coach Will Jamieson only able to name the bare minimum 13 players as several players were unavailable because of work and other commitments.
Down 6-0 after five minutes and struggling to get the ball out of their own half, Tannum wrestled back the momentum shortly before the break when halfback Prue Maeyke scored and Krystal Sulter converted to bring the score to 10-6.
A runaway try to Emu Park's Briana Shillingsworth extended the lead to a 16-6 with 20 minutes remaining.
Tannum marched up the field almost instantaneously and should have scored their second try only for India Poulton to lose the ball over the tryline.
Seagals' profligacy in attack came back to haunt them when Amanda Ohl crashed over the line to extended the Parkies lead to 14 points.
Refusing to go down lightly, Tannum responded via Crystal McGregor with five minutes on the clock after she latched onto a lovely cut-out ball from Maeyke.
However, Emu Park put the result beyond doubt with a try inside the final two minutes to seal a 24-10 victory.
Jamieson said his troops did a good job considering their lack of numbers.
"Prue Maeyke won players' player award. She had an amazing game with 32 tackles and over 10 hit-ups," Jamieson said.
"Crystal McGregor made around 30 tackles and had a massive game, didn't let me down and led from example.
"Amy Popel was playing with a sore wrist and made 30 tackles so you've got to credit that.
"I can't fault the 13 that played for me."
Tannum will now turn its attention towards a preliminary final against Wallabys with the winner to face Emu Park.
"Wallabys are playing good footy so we're going to have to be at our best to beat them," Jamieson added.
"If we can get to the grand final it's anyone's game."
Emu Park 24 (Trisha Dougan, Bronwyn Takaku, Briana Shillingsworth, Amanda Ohl, Nadine Hattingh tries; Tashina Ketchup, Sarah Field goals) defeated Tannum Seagals 10 (Prue Maeyke, Crystal McGregor tries; Krystal Sulter goal).
Baker and Baker show sees Wallabys past Norths
RUGBY LEAGUE: Chelsea Baker scored two tries and was inches away from claiming a third, but it was the performance of her namesake which impressed the Australian Jillaroo in Wallabys' 22-12 victory over Norths Chargers in the women's elimination final.
Playing in her preferred position of fullback during Saturday morning's Marley Brown Oval match-up, the Australian and Maroons winger crossed the tryline after only a matter of minutes.
Wallabys were 10-0 up after 15 minutes when Zeah Lane sliced through the Chargers' defence from inside her own half and ran 70 metres to score under the posts.
Norths struck back three minutes before half-time after a rare Baker mistake when she failed to defuse a Norths grubber kick resulting in winger Amber Carsburg planting the ball down in the corner.
Trailing 10-4 at the break, Norths started the second half the better of the two sides but a big hit by the Wallabys defence forced the ball loose and Leesa Coughlin scored out wide from the resulting set to open up a 16-4 lead.
Norths began to tire and Baker took full advantage from a scrum play when she scooted 40 metres down the grandstand side of Marley Brown Oval to score her second.
Wallabys had a golden opportunity to seal the result 10 minutes from full-time when Baker made a 100-plus metre run from inside her own in-goal area only to be pulled down inches from the tryline.
Baker's gut-busting run didn't bring the rewards though as Wallabys made an error while trying to spin the ball out wide to take advantage of a backtracking Chargers defence.
A try to Norths four minutes from the end was a mere consolation for the visitors as Wallabys led 22-8 with three minutes to go. Another late try to the visitors took the final score to 22-12.
Despite another influential performance, the Wallabys captain praised the performance of forward Dezarye Baker, who made a great impact off the bench.
"She did really well. She's been really nervous all season because she's quite injury-prone but she came out and did really well and put her injuries aside and laid some hits on," Baker said.
"That was the toughest game I've played against Norths. They've come through their ranks really outstanding and they are now one of the top teams in our competition."
While it's season over for Norths, Wallabys must tackle Tannum in the preliminary final without Baker who will be away on Queensland duty.
The women's State of Origin match takes place at Wollongong on July 23.
Wallabys 22 (Chelsea Baker 2, Zeah Lane, Leesa Coughlin tries; Chelsea Baker 3 goals) defeated Norths Chargers 12 (Brieanna Curtis, Rhiannon Parsons, Amber Carsburg tries).