Photos courtesy of Denis Ivaneza / Inner Visions Photography
Harvey Norman NSW Womens Origins representatives captain Kezie Apps and NSW teammates Sam Bremner and Jess Sergis helped the Helensburgh Tigerlilies claim the Illawarra Women’s League premiership 40-24 over reigning premiers Corrimal Cougars at Sid Parrish Park on Sunday.
The first points were sparked by 2018 NSW Women’s representative Bremner, who got away a late offload to Erin Blackwell who in turn passed it out wide for winger Nikki Perugini to score in the corner.
The Tigerlilies were on the attack again and Bremner decided to take the line on herself, stepping and weaving through the defence and scoring under the sticks for their second try ten minutes into the contest.
Apps then came up with a big play from the kick-off when she busted straight through the defensive line and ran away to score a great individual try for side to lead 14-0.
Down 16-0 Corrimal burst into action and were able to score through NSW Women’s Origin winger Shakiah Tungai, who crashed through the defence close to the line.
Trailing by ten points, the Cougars kept fighting and Tungai put Chantel Leatigaga over the line from close range to put them right back in the contest.
It was the Tigerlilies who drew first blood after the break after a late offload from Apps close to the line was swooped on by Candice Woodward to cross for a try.
Corrimal’s Salma Nour saw an opening and leapt over the line from dummy half to put them within four points and then Anamalia Mataele crashed over from close range to put them in front for the first time that afternoon.
A Corrimal mistake allowed Woodward to grab a loose ball and streak away to score underneath the posts with the Tigerlilies taking a two point lead after the conversion.
Sergis extended the lead when she spotted some space down the far touchline and used her speed to go 80 metres to score. She backed that up with another telling play in which she bumped off plenty of defenders before offloading to Apps who ran 50 metres to score.
The Cougars had an opportunity to fight back but lost the ball after half Rachael Pearson intercepted a pass and sprinted away to cross under the posts to put the icing on the cake for Helensburgh.