The results from the TFSA League’s second double header last Sunday has shaken up the season with one minor round remaining.
The Scorpions stamped their authority on the Women’s competition with a dominant 7-3 win over the Wolves. Led by Alice Gregory the Wolves tried hard, but were no match for a Scorpions team now a game clear atop the leader and in prime position to move straight into the Grand Final. The Stingrays and the Vipers both missed their own opportunities to sure up a finals birth, drawing 5-5. The Stingrays soaked up a lot of early pressure and then took control before half-time to lead 3-2 at the change. In a tough fought second half, the Vipers did enough to even up the match and put themselves in the best position of taking out the vital third spot.
The Scorpions had to fight hard to overcome the Vipers in the first of the afternoon games. Both defensive units held firm in the first half, a brace to Alice Winter allowing the team in orange to lead by one at half-time. Winter scored again in the second period, the Scorpions holding on despite a dominant second half from Vipers veteran Kelly Rowe.
The Wolves also held on to win against a fast finishing Stingrays. Trailing 4-2 at half time, the Stingrays could only get within one, Lily Gambranis scoring three times on a return to the Women’s team after playing the first match in the mixed side.
The Northern Vipers showed that the Eastern Stingrays men are not invincible coming from behind to win 9-7. The Stingrays took a 4-3 lead into half-time but were outplayed in the second half by an inspired Vipers unit. Losing the lead midway through the second half, the Stingrays let their frustrations boil over, captain Tim Glazebrook being sent to the bin as the league leaders were unable to penetrate a desperate Vipers defence. An easy win in the afternoon game against the Wolves means the Stingrays will still take out the minor premiership, but both the Vipers and the Scorpions now have the belief that the Stingrays are beatable if they can make the Grand Final.
It was the Scorpions who took the momentum in that battle, beating a tired Vipers in the second match of the day. The Scorpions, who had an easy first up win over the Wolves, made the most of the facing a Vipers side straight out of a tough tussle with the Stingrays, Mitch O’Hara and Adam Whitehead leading their team to an 8-4 victory.
Central Scorpions have shown that they have the mettle to match it with the South West Wolves mixed team, keeping alive their chances of finishing top with an 8-7 victory in a Titanic battle on Field Two. Both teams had a number of opportunities to score in an open first half, going into the break at 5-5. The game slowed in the second half, the pace of the first period impacting on the skill levels of both teams. Khyle Raye-Arbon controlled the game for the Scorpions as they withheld a tenacious Wolves team lead by Megan Elliott in the middle to win 8-7.
The Vipers final chances were extinguished when they could not get past the Stingrays drawing 6-6. The Vipers dominated early, leading by two tries and it seemed it may be their day when the Stingrays had two first-half tries disallowed for forward passes. Trailing by two at half-time the Stingrays produced a stronger second half with Kieran Ong stepping up in the absence of playmaker Tim Phillips to help his team even the scores and guarantee his team a finals spot.
The Wolves easily overcame the Vipers in the second game 14-5, while the Scorpions fought back after an early scare against the Stingrays. Even at half-time, the Scorpions moved away in the second half for a 6-4 win, the Stingrays again ruing their chances, after a third close loss to the Scorpions this year.