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Bobsledder turned Tiger proves hat-trick hero

A hat-trick by former Australian bobsledder and now Wests Tigers winger Ashleigh Werner helped her team snap Mounties’ unbeaten streak with a 16-12 win in their Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership round four clash tonight.

Werner’s four-pointers in the 33rd, 41st and 56th minutes at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence swung momentum firmly back the Tigers way after Mounties jumped out to a 12-0 lead.

The 30-year-old represented Australia in the winter sport of bobsleigh for six years before changing careers and signing with the Tigers in the off-season.

“She’s lightning and we’re proud of girls like Ashleigh we’ve brought into our program to develop them,” said Wests Tigers coach Adel Hage.

Werner's efforts earned her the Harvey Norman player of the match award.

It had been all Mounties in the first half with forwards Tommaya Kelly-Sines, Kerehitina Matua and Eli Walton making good metres up the middle.

But Wests Tigers were ably led by hooker Ebony Prior (pictured below) and halfback Emily Curtain as they got themselves out of trouble in the second half.

“That was probably one of our best victories ever for the club, considering the number of people we had out,” Hage said.

“It was a challenge for them tonight and they really stood up. We had a young player in Jae Patu make her debut tonight (off bench) and she backed up from Tarsha Gale on Saturday.”

Mounties had their chances and at one stage led the penalty count 7-1 before it finished up 7-5 at full-time.

“We probably didn’t capitalise on the opportunities we did have. It was one of those game when 50-50 calls didn’t go our way. But it was a good game of footy – nice and close and very physical,” said Mounties coach Grant Izzard.

Mounties retain their top-four spot in second place with the undefeated North Sydney Bears leading the Women’s Premiership after four rounds.

Wests Tigers moved from fifth to fourth pushing the Illawarra Steelers down one spot.

The halftime score of 12-6 didn’t truly reflect the amount of field position and possession Mounties had in the opening stanza.

They pounded the Wests Tigers line early and off the back of four penalties, something had to give.

Prop Tommaya Kelly-Sines barged over for Mounties first points in the seventh minute.

Their second try came in the 24th minute when halfback Matilda Power sent a cut-out pass to her left-side winger Brooke Wilkins.

Power’s conversion from the sideline gave the visitors a 12-0 lead. But that was as good as it got for the Mounties scoresheet.

The Tigers scored 16 unanswered points, grabbing the lead with 14 minutes to play.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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