Year 7 Girls – Sirius Academy
The Year 7 Girls played in their first game of full contact rugby league at the Yorkshire Regional Festival, and finished with 2 wins and 3 defeats, in a very tough league of 6 teams, all from various areas across Yorkshire, including Wakefield, Leeds and Bradford.
Queensbury 0 Sirius 8
The day started well for Sirius, when they won their first match against Queensbury from Bradford. The girls stuck to the game plan and defended well, which was rewarded by not conceding a single try in the 8 minute game. Sirius went across the line twice in quick succession, first it was player of the tournament Shauna Jones, who took on the line, found a gap and outpaced the defence to score the first try of the game. Some good work at acting half back from Amelia Watson brought a powerful run from Carla Manuel, and when she got into her stride there was no stopping her. Sirius was determined to keep a clean sheet, and when the Queensbury player broke through down the wing, Paige Fletcher and Demi Leak was on hand to chase back and push the girl into touch.
Mount St Marys 18 Sirius 0
Sirius knew they was up against it when they saw the size of the girls from Leeds, but give it their best shot and did not ever give up. Sirius started strong with a couple of great sets of six on the Mount St Marys line, but the size and strength was just too much, as Sirius could not get through their line. Mia Wilkinson was trying her best, and put in a great kick and chase, but unfortunately did not get the bounce of the ball. From the resulting attack, St Marys broke through and could not be caught. Shauna Jones was not taking a backward step and the size of the opponents did not phase her one bit. But a couple more converted tries ensured that Sirius had no way of coming back.
Sirius 0 King James 10
This was a must win game for Sirius, and they went out all guns blazing and threw everything at King James in the early exchanges and were camped on their line for the first few minutes. Courtney Ward, Lauren Lynne and Ellie Mae Norrie took the ball in well from the front, as well as Ellie Hewitt firing out some good passes wide to Kara Jones Barker, who made some good yards. But when a couple of errors from Sirius gave King James some good field position, the defence of Sirius went all to pot. Shauna Jones and Mia Wilkinson were very aggressive in defence and made some excellent one on one tackles, but could not keep St James from powering over twice during the game.
Castleford High 12 Sirius 0
The test did not get any easier for the Sirius team, when a well organised Castleford team played some outstanding rugby league, and the scrambling defence from Sirius Academy was beaten on a couple of occasions. But credit to the girls, they kept going and searched for a try of their own. Some good runs from Lauren Lynne, Molly Harrison and Hannah Beech put Sirius into some good field position, but the defence from Castleford was solid, which we were unable to break down. A couple of good runs from Castleford proved too much for the Sirius girls and Castleford went out worthy winners.
Sirius 12 Park Lane 0
Sirius Academy ended the tournament on a high with a fantastic display of defence and attack against Park Lane. Naomi Barker and Emily Davidson made some good yards, but it was Carla Manuel who caused their defence problems, and went over for two fantastic individual tries, both covering no less than 50 yards, as she used her strength and speed to ensure that Sirius got the victory. Some outstanding marker play from Shauna Jones led the way in defence, with Mia Wilkinson also making some very good one on one tackles, going for the legs with fantastic technique. Mia also converted the two tries, leaving the girls very happy indeed with their convincing performance.
There were some really good individual performances, hat trick hero Carla Manuel must take credit for her nonstop running the ball in, but Shauna Jones stole the show with her defensive qualities and leadership. The girls should be very proud of their performance, they have a lot to learn, but they are all willing to put in the hard work to better themselves individually and as a team. One thing the girls did not do today was back down, every single player was willing to run the ball in against some very strong girls, they showed a lot of guts and determination and am sure they will improve throughout their Sirius Academy rugby careers.
Many thanks to Miss Bore for her support with the team.
Squad: Lauren Lynne, Kara Jones Barker, Courtney Ward, Molly Harrison, Shauna Jones (Tries 1), Carla Manual (Tries 3), Amelia Watson, Hannah Beech, Mia Wilkinson (Goals 2), Paige Fletcher, Demi Leake, Emily Davidson, Ellie Hewitt, Ellie Mae Norrie, Naimi Barker.