Takilele Katoa scores three tries in Riverina's 28-18 women's nines rugby league win over Western

HARD TO STOP: Western's Rhianna Sutherland runs away from the Riverina chasers after breaking the line in Friday's women's nine game at Equex Centre. Picture: Les Smith
HARD TO STOP: Western's Rhianna Sutherland runs away from the Riverina chasers after breaking the line in Friday's women's nine game at Equex Centre. Picture: Les Smith

RIVERINA’S foray into women’s rugby league began on the right note with a stunning come from behind win over Western at Equex Centre on Friday.

A hat-trick of tries to Takilele Katoa helped Riverina to a 28-18 win over Western in the women’s nines rugby league game.

Riverina looked destined for defeat, down 18-8 with 10 minutes remaining before the home team orchestrated a brilliant fightback.

Haylee McDonell put the finishing touches on a brilliant 60-metre team try to bring them back within six, before Katoa scored twice in two minutes to put Riverina back in front.

Shailyn Williams then sealed the win with a try.

Williams, who coached Riverina to a historic victory, praised her team’s effort.

“We only had one training run so to bring 14 girls together in such a short turnaround was really good and to get the win was even better,” Williams said.

“I was a little bit worried early in the second half but I’ve been playing footy a long time and defence wins games. That’s what it’s all about and our defence kept us in the game and it’s what got us the win in the end.”

Williams said the Riverina team enjoyed the opportunity to play tackle rugby league.

“It’s good that finally Riverina gets to play,” she said.

“There has been some good women getting around playing football and it’s a good opportunity for them to showcase their skills because the game’s growing and it’s going to be a big part of the future.”

RIVERINA 28 (T Katoa 3, R Leao-Seve, H McDonell, S Williams tries; S Williams 2 conversions) d WESTERN 18 (S Stammers 2, M Jones, G Mooney tries; R Ford conversion) at Equex Centre.