BULLETS: Back: Hazel Heming, Bree Roberts, Niamh Doherty, Taylor Smith, Sophie Jo Edwards, Shyanne Appleby (player/assistant coach), Josien De Leeuw and Lizzy Ross. Front: Katie Hookings (captain) Curtis Bradford (coach) and Montana-Rose Stocks.
BULLETS: Back: Hazel Heming, Bree Roberts, Niamh Doherty, Taylor Smith, Sophie Jo Edwards, Shyanne Appleby (player/assistant coach), Josien De Leeuw and Lizzy Ross. Front: Katie Hookings (captain) Curtis Bradford (coach) and Montana-Rose Stocks. Contributed

Bullets make history for Byron Bay Rugby Club

BYRON Bay Bullets are the first women's rugby team to represent Byron in the club's 119-year history.

The team has been training since late February and last weekend, together with new coach Curtis Bradford, they travelled to play at Grafton rugby club's 50th anniversary celebrations.

"Massive credit goes to the girls, particularly captain Katie, who has been tirelessly recruiting for this huge rugby project,” Bradford said.

"It's been a lot of fun to be involved with this group of girls, who have embraced the challenge of taking up a new sport and forming a new team.”

Captain Katie Hookings said she was proud to wear the blue and white.

"We were excited to put all of our hard work and training into practice,” she said.

"The girls we have are all the biggest, toughest legends ever.”

The Bullets arrived in Grafton with 10 players to take part in a game of 10 a side and while Grafton had plenty of reserves the Byron Bay side had to dig in and play the entire games with no substitutions.

The game was played in great spirits, with both sides putting in some great tackles and impressing with their skills in attack.

The honour of being the first female to score for Byron went to Lizzy Ross and the conversion was kicked brilliantly by centre Hazel Heming.

Byron lost Shyanne Appleby to an injury before the break but after a few positional changes, Grafton lent Byron a player and the game restarted.

Montana-Rose Stocks nearly scored another try for Byron after a top run.

"Special mention must go to Josien De Leeuw,” Bradford said.

"She had never played rugby before Monday last week but joined in for the game and did a brilliant job in what was a historic day for women's rugby in the Northern Rivers region.

"The icing on the cake came just before the full-time whistle when Lizzy Ross scored her second try after a great break inside her own half, again converted by Heming.

"I am very proud of the team's performance on the weekend and the dedication they have shown since we began training.”

Bradford is also part of the coaching staff for the senior men's team and returned to see the Byron Bay senior men defeat Casuarina Barbarians.

To play or just train with the Bullets phone Andy Teuma on 0467712802 or Curtis Bradford on 0467257684.

Training is on Wednesday, 6.30pm at the Memorial Recreation Grounds.


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