The Valley Dragons have announced themselves as premiership contenders with a fiercely fought 18-12 win over the Yass Magpies at Raiders Belconnen on Friday night.
“We worked as a team and that pushed us to get that 18-0 lead,” said Dragons captain Nirada Phonsaya. “However, our penalties let us down and that’s how they scored.”
Having entered the clash on the back of a three-match winning streak, a strong first half gave the Valley Dragons control before the Magpies mounted a late comeback to ensure a grandstand finish.
Although the comeback was ultimately unsuccessful, Yass’ Taylah Frost was proud of her team’s effort.
“I think the other girls have a really good team,” Frost said. “For us to push through and hold together as a team, we did really well.”
The Valley Dragons opened the scoring early after Dorothy Carroll drew in the Magpies winger before passing to Jade Lee who scored in the corner.
Alannah Fraser added a second try shortly afterwards when the Dragons moved the ball from left to right. With the Yass defence sliding, Fraser straightened up and ran through a subsequent hole cross the try line.
The Dragons continued to pile the pressure on the Magpies and were helped by poor Yass’ poor discipline as they gave away plenty of penalties.
Dragons halfback Chloe Smith made the pressure count when her grubber towards the in goal took a wild deflection off a Yass player. Smith pounced onto the loose ball to give the Dragons an 18-0 lead ten minutes from halftime.
Yass then kicked into gear and started piling pressure on the Dragons but couldn’t find a chink in their armour before the break.
The second half was a different story as Yass showed patches of the form that saw them win their opening four games.
With both teams losing players to injury, Shannon Wright scored in the right corner after the Magpies moved the ball from left to right.
As the game progressed, the Dragons gave away repeated penalties and Maddison Douven made them pay with a quick tap to score and set up a grandstand finish.
However, the Dragons managed to hold on to claim the win to remain third on the ladder.