The much anticipated 2023 NZRL National Girls Youth Tournament has been jam-packed, as teams of the best young girls from throughout the country have battled for victory on the field. Day one saw some thrilling pool games, and day two produced intense semi-finals across both 16s and 18s age-grades, with Grand Finals now set to be played tomorrow.
National Girls Youth Tournament Major Semi-Finals recap:
Semi-Final 1 – Counties Manukau Stingrays v Mid Central Vipers
Final score: Counties Manukau Stingrays 22-6
The first half of the match saw some outstanding attacking play from both sides, with the Vipers only narrowly down 12-6 at halftime. In the second half, the Stingrays kept the Vipers from scoring and eventually proved too dominant for the Mid Central Zone team, chalking up two more unanswered tries. The final whistle blew with the score at 22-6, five tries to one in favour of the Counties Manukau Stingrays girls.
Semi-Final 2 – Wellington Orcas v South Island Scorpions
Final score: Wellington Orcas 16-10
In this close match-up, the Southern Zone girls got off to a strong start, leading by two tries to none with the score line at 10-0 at halftime. Upon the second-half kick-off, Watene of the Orcas quickly scored initiating a shift in momentum. The team from the Capital continued to fight back into the game, scoring twice more to take the lead 12-10. Another Orcas try by Maihi with only 6 minutes left on the clock sealed the win for the Wellingtonians, securing their place in the Grand Final.
Semi-Final 1 – Auckland Vulcans v Wellington Orcas
Final score: Auckland Vulcans 14-4
The first half of this match was a back-and-forth contest, with the halftime score tied up at only 4-4 in a physical game. In the second half, the Aucklanders kept the Orcas out and scored twice more, with one successful conversion by Sorensen-McGee, to take the win 14-4.
Semi-Final 2 – Counties Manukau Stingrays v Akarana Falcons
Final score: Akarana Falcons 12-10
In a battle between the two Auckland sides, this semi-final came down to conversions. The Falcons did well to score first, but Counties were quick to reply with one of their own, followed shortly by another. The halftime score was 10-6 in favour of the Stingrays. An intense second half saw the reigning champions, Akarana, fight hard to keep Counties out, with the Falcons eventually scoring and successfully converting the try to take the win by two points.
NZRL National Girls Youth Tournament Finals Draw – Tuesday 26th September
Grand Final – Counties Manukau Stingrays v Wellington Orcas 11:00 am (Owen Delaney Park Field 1*)
3rd/4th place final – Mid Central Vipers v South Island Scorpions 9:00 am (Owen Delaney Park Field 5)
Grand Final – Akarana Falcons v Auckland Vulcans 12:30 pm (Owen Delaney Park Field 1*)
3rd/4th place final – Counties Manukau Stingrays v Wellington Orcas 10:15 am (Owen Delaney Park Field 5)
*live-streamed game on youtube.com/@NZRugbyLeague
For the entire National Girls Youth Tournament finals day draw and to keep up with all the action, visit linktr.ee/nzrlgrassroots