On a night celebrating the first official women’s game of rugby league played at Southern Cross Group Stadium it was a 20-all draw in the Lyn Smith Trophy match, before a comprehensive 46-6 Souths win saw them take home the Jack Gibson Cup in the men’s match to follow.
Before a healthy crowd the girls didn’t disappoint as Cronulla-Caringbah and the Redfern All Blacks played out an exciting draw.
Giving up considerable size to their cross-town rivals the Cronulla-Caringbah girls battled on bravely, a try in the dying moments levelling the score and seeing the two teams share the spoils in the inaugural Lyn Smith Trophy clash.
Also in a first for the Sharks home base the girls used the main change rooms, going through their pre-game preparations in the same sheds used by the Sharks NRL squad.
In the final wash up it was a great advertisement for the women’s game and the match set the benchmark high for future games between female teams from the two junior league districts.
As for the Jack Gibson Cup, a game being played for the 20th time matching A Grade players representing the junior leagues’ of Cronulla-Sutherland and South Sydney, the match was all one-way traffic.
Determined to win back the trophy which had been claimed by the Cronulla team 12 months prior, Souths dominated from almost the outset, with a brilliant performance from half back Maurice Longbottom setting them on a course for victory.
The lone bright spot for the Cronulla team saw fullback Ezekiel Vaotuua from Como score three minutes from time, breaking what would have been an embarrassing drought.
Cronulla-Caringbah prop Matt Emery tried hard throughout and was a stand out for the Cronulla team in the losing effort.
After another successful evening the Jack Gibson Cup and Lyn Smith Trophy matches are planned to be contested once again in 2017.