A sunny spring morning welcomed the start of TFSA League on Sunday, and for many teams it was a case of blowing out the cobwebs in the first hit out of the season.
In the Mixed Division, The Eastern Stingrays and Northern Vipers shared the points, playing out a 7-7 draw. The game started as an end to end battle, with dominant players from both sides making the most of some mediocre defence, the score 3-3 after just five minutes. The game tightened up in the second half, a dominant display from the Stingrays Rick Wilkinson not enough to drag his side over the line.
In the other mixed game, the experience of the South West Wolves was too much for the young Central Scorpions. The Wolves team featuring many former Men’s and Women’s Division players, led all the way for a 10-7 win.
The Central Scorpion Men’s began their season with a comfortable win over the South West Wolves. Despite failing to capitalise on their territorial dominance, the Scorpions still came home 11-1 victors, veteran Dave Harris the only player to provide any spark for the Wolves.
On the other field, the Eastern Stingrays took first blood against rivals Northern Vipers, the Rays winning a seesaw battle 12-8.
A tight first half saw the teams locked at 5-5 going into the break. Despite a dominant performance from the Vipers James Van Gilst, the Stingrays broke the game open in the second half, highlighted by an intercept try from Stephen Daneke.
In the Women’s Division Eastern Stingrays took advantage of a Northern Vipers team missing key players to win a low scoring battle 3-2. Early season nerves were evident with both teams failing to capitalise on a number of opportunities to take the initiative. 1-1 at half time, a late try allowed the Rays to finish round one on top of the table.
In the other Women’s game, Central Scorpions and South West Wolves played out a 5-5 stalemate, in what was possibly the match of the day.
The Wolves scored first, but strong line defence combined with attacking flair from Steph O’Hara allowed the Scorpions to lead 3-2 at the break.
The Wolves moved ahead in the second half and had their opportunity to put the game out of reach taken away when a try was disallowed for a forward pass.
A wave of attack from the Scorpions brought a late score to even the scores just minutes before the siren.