It was a historic day for the Maitland Pickers as the women wearing black and white notched their first win.
The Pickers accounted for the Auburn Warriors 38-22 at Maitland Sportsground on Saturday – their first victory after forming to enter the Sydney Metropolitan Women’s Rugby League competition this season.
And after two losses on the road to start their maiden season the Pickers, who are the first club to enter the competition from country NSW, made the most of home ground advantage and triumphed in front of an appreciative crowd.
“The girls were very happy to have their first win,” coach Mick Young said. “But the win was more reward for the hard work and commitment the girls have been putting in at training.
“It was the first home game and there was great support there from the club and family, which was great.”
Skipper and Australian representative Bec Young scored a double for the Pickers while Mel Sutton, Sarah Ross, Wendy Russell, Casey Cameron and mother-daughter combination Tammy and Candice Clay all crossed the try line as well.
The Pickers started the match on fire and shot out to a 12-0 lead on the back of three tries before Auburn reduced the margin to two points midway through the first half.
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A fourth try to the Pickers and a successful conversion gave the hosts an 18-10 lead at the break.
After half-time the Pickers again began well before Auburn replied to keep the fourth round encounter alive.
Two late tries opened up a 16-point advantage for the Pickers and it stayed that way until the referee blew full-time.
“We played out best football in the first 10 minutes of the first half and the second half,” coach Young said.
“Once we got ahead early we went away from doing the things that had been working for us.
“But in the end we finished well and credit to the girls because they kept going and never gave up, which is why they had a win.”
The Pickers women may have a double header this weekend with their scheduled match against Minchinbury at Maitland Sportsground on Sunday potentially preluded by a catch-up fixture at the same venue a day earlier.
Sunday’s kick off is set for noon while if Saturday goes ahead the Pickers women will play in the morning and lead into the men’s clash with Central Newcastle.
Round 4 of Sydney Metropolitan Women’s Rugby League: Maitland Pickers 38 def Auburn Warriors 22
q See the Mercury later this week for a closer look at the Maitland Pickers upcoming clash against Minchinbury at home on Mother’s Day.