The St George Illawarra Dragons were defeated 16-12 by the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium, Cronulla on Saturday.
The inaugural Dragons Women’s NRL Nines team scored three tries in the loss with Rikeya Horne, Kezie Apps and Talia Atfield all going over the stripe.
Head Coach Alysha Jannsen had appointed Alicia-Kate Hawke captain for the fixture and she lead a team which featured Jillaroo international Kezie Apps and a strong contingent of talent from the local Women in Defence Illawarra League.
The home side had struck first through Jade Etherden before Dragons winger Rikeya Horne (Corrimal) equalised moments later.
Unfortunately, the Sharks struck again through Allana Fergusen with Maddison Studdon notching the extras to make it 10-4.
However, the visitors’ clawed their way back into the game courtesy of a blistering run by Apps who out-manoeuvred three markers to slide across the stripe.
The Dragons struck early during the second stanza with kicker Talia Atfield etching her name on the scoresheet to seize a narrow 12-10 lead.
Yet, in a cruel blow, the hosts reclaimed the lead in the death through Sam Bremner, with Studdon converting to make it 16-12.
St George Illawarra Dragons 12. Tries: Horne, Apps, Atfield. Goals: Atfield (0/3).
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 16. Tries: Etherden, Ferguson, Bremner. Goals: Studdon (2/3).