Redfern mum Lavina Phillips scored two tries to lead the NSW Indigenous Women’s Team to a hard-fought and entertaining 12-4 win over the QLD Indigenous Women’s Team at Hunter Stadium this afternoon.
It was a gripping encounter played in great spirit with both sides defences punishing at times, however it was the side wearing Blue that found that little bit more when it counted most.
Phillips, playing in a curtain-raiser match ahead of her brother Kareel’s much-anticipated turnout for the inaugural First Nations Goannas clash with the Knights tonight, scored her first try 10 minutes into the first half and halfback Kiya Simon converted to give the Blues a 6-0 lead.
QLD finally got the better of an even and hard-fought tussle in the second half with centre Chantelle Dodd forcing her way across the line with 11 minutes to go, taking the score to 6-4, with the conversion attempt unsuccessful.
But with less than 2 minutes to go Phillips put the match beyond doubt though for NSW as she barged through the QLD defence for her second try, which was converted by Khloe Caldwell.
"I'm so excited," said Philips.
"It's my first game playing in this position so I hope I proved myself but it was really a team effort.
"I could not be more proud to represent my community and it was great to have my little girl watch us."
NSW coach Dean Widders said:
"It's no coincidence that the girls won.
“The girls have put in the hard yards for months and have all shown great commitment; they deserved to win.
"They've had the best attitude, no excuses, they just get it done. It's made the whole week a dream."
NSW Women’s Indigenous Team 12 (Lavina Phillips 2 tries; Kiya Simon, Khloe Caldwell goals) def QLD Women’s Indigenous Team 4 (Chantelle Dodd try)