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NRLW star guides Platypi to WWRL three-peat

The Panorama Platypi have created Western Women’s Rugby League (WWRL) history, becoming the first team to win a three-peat of Open Women’s titles.

They also collected all three titles in 19 months. And one of the stars was St George Illawarra NRLW player Cheynoah Amone. (Photo above courtesy 'Game Face Photography')

The Kevin Grimshaw-coached Platypi enjoyed a 2022 season to remember, posting a 20-10 win over Wiradjuri Goannas in December to become back-to-back premiers.

That historic victory over their arch-rivals came just eight months - and in the same calendar year - after the Platypi beat Woodbridge to claim their first WWRL premiership.

Winning their third title in 19 months, the Platypi were the team to beat in front of a big crowd at Bathurst’s Jack Arrowing Sporting Complex last Saturday (25 November). The home side proved to be a class above the Orange Vipers winning 38-16.

It was a tense first half, but Panorama hit the accelerator pedal from a 12-10 half-time deficit to put on a second-half clinic when scoring five unanswered tries to take a comfortable 22-point victory.

Fullback Tiana Anderson came away with a hat-trick, while captain Sarah Colman was named Player of the Season following another strong performance for her side.

St George Illawarra Dragons NRLW player and Canterbury Bulldogs Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership star Cheynoah Amone, who learned her craft playing for the Vipers in Orange, was taking on some familiar faces in the decider.

Still, the hard-working backrower who made the move to the Platypi ahead of season 2023 dominated the middle third of the field with solid hit-ups and tackles, even setting up tries as she was named the Most Valuable Player in the decider.

“It was a love-hate kind of experience coming up against my old club, but it was amazing to win the Grand Final,” Amone said.

“The first half had me kind of worried, and I didn’t think we would get the win, but in the second half, we played to our standard, and they dropped their standard, and we took off and got the win.”

Amone mentioned two Platypi teammates who took the game away from the Vipers.

“Tiana is a freak, and she is a mother of two, but she is out there, proving to every mum that they can still do it,” Amone said.

“Plus, Marita (Shoulders) was massive, and being her age and coming out and putting on some of the shots she did, that was outstanding.

“When we were down, she came out and put a big shot on Jacky Lyden, who is a terrific player for the Vipers, and she is not easy to put a hit on, and when that happened, it lifted the whole team.”

Amone, who works at MacKillop College in Bathurst, loves promoting women’s tackle, and she is pleased to see the WWRL continuing to grow, with the competition catering to over 700 players in 2023.

“It’s only going to get bigger,” Amone said.

“Most teams had to drop a few people because we had too many numbers, so there is a lot of interest.

“With the time of the year that it is played, it works well, and we don’t have to miss out on other sports, like League-Tag and Union.

“The competition is booming, and it’s not going to stop, and it’s great because these women are showing everyone that they have it in them to play this kind of sport.”

While Amone and her Platypi teammates celebrated a WWRL premiership in Bathurst on Saturday, it was a big day, with five Grand Finals played.

Click here for more on all the WWRL Grand Finals. 

Panorama Platypi 38 (Tries: Tiana Anderson 3, Carly Abbott, Demi Chapman, Sarah Morley, Xanthe Booth tries; Sarah Coleman 5 goals) def Orange Vipers 16 (Kiara Sullivan, Rebecca Prestwidge, Lily Baker tries; Rebecca Prestwidge 2 goals).

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