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Barellan scoop the Proten Cup Knockout

Jamie Parsons

A rainy Saturday morning set the stage for some classic wet-weather football on a muddy Rankins Springs ground for the sixth Proten Cup Knockout.

All 12 teams turned up on the miserable morning in the best turnout for a knockout so far as it’s the first time all six women’s teams have competed in the knockout.

By the end of the day Barellan were celebrating titles in both the men's and women's divisions. (Men's team pictured above)

The women were up first with Goolgowi v Hillston with the Rabbitohs getting up in a close one, 10-8, over the Bluebirds.

Other women’s results through the day saw Barellan continue their undefeated domination, winning 30-0 over both Rankins Springs and an Ivanhoe scratch side, due to a host of their players not able to make it due to the weather affecting roads.

Hillston and Goolgowi both fell to the Narrandera Lizards, while Rankins Springs and Ivanhoe played out a 4-4 draw in the other match.

L-R Proten Cup President Brent Parsons, with Barellan capt Monique Higgins
L-R Proten Cup President Brent Parsons, with Barellan capt Monique Higgins

The men’s pool games followed the same draw as the women’s but this time Hillston defeating Goolgowi in the first match 6-4.

Then followed the Rankins Springs v Barellan match, with the Rams winning.

Narrandera enjoyed a 12-0 victory over Hillston and an 18-0 win over Goolgowi.

Rankins Springs got up 16-10 over Ivanhoe, who unfortunately had to forfeit their final match against Barellan due to injuries.

The results meant Barellan and Narrandera qualified for the final in both the women’s and men’s divisions.

What started as a big morning of rainy football had become a hot, sunny afternoon.

The Lizards women gave Barellan their best challenge so far for the day, keeping the Rams to only six points in the first half.

The Rams asserted their dominance in the second, coming away 18-0 winners with a hat-trick to Tommi Booth.

The lights had to be turned on for the men’s final. Narrandera had won three Knockouts previously, while Barellan had lost a finals match twice - in 2019 as well as last year.

Despite this the Rams were first on the board, with captain Noah Forbutt going over from dummy-half. With a lot of aggression from both sides, the game had to be stopped several times and the Rams finished the half leading 6-0.

Unfortunately some swinging arms and a few scuffles derailed the second half.

Play was halted with six minutes left due to poor player behaviour after a third penalty in a row was given against Narrandera. Barellan were declared the winners 6-0.

This year’s Knockout title becomes Barellan’s first since the beginning of the Proten Cup in 2019.

Thanks to Rankins Springs for hosting the day and all their volunteers for their hard work, as well as the referees and touch judges for their efforts and all clubs for fighting the weather to get there.

The competition proper kicks off Saturday 18 May at Narrandera, with Hillston playing Barellan, Rankins Springs facing Ivanhoe and Narrandera hosting Goolgowi.

Results 2024 Men’s Knockout:

Hillston 6-4 Goolgowi

Barellan 6-4 Rankins Springs

Narrandera 12-0 Goolgowi

Rankins Springs 16-10 Ivanhoe

Narrandera 18-0 Hillston

Barellan won against Ivanhoe by forfeit

Final: Barellan 6 (Noah Forbutt try, goal) def Narrandera 0

Results 2024 Women’s Knockout:

Goolgowi 10-8 Hillston

Barellan 30-0 Rankins Springs

Narrandera 6-6 Goolgowi

Rankins Springs 4-4 Ivanhoe

Narrandera 14-0 Hillston

Barellan 30-0 Ivanhoe

Final: Barellan 18 (Tommi Booth 3 tries; Monique Higgins 3 goals) def Narrandera 0

Acknowledgement of Country

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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