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June 24, 2010
By John Martin
NAVY'S best female rugby play-
ers helped the Australian Services
Rugby Union (ASRU) team fin-
ish second in division two of the
Australian women's championship
in Canberra in early June.
Lock LSNPC Renee Woodward
was a tireless worker for the team
and ABSN Saluelanei Gray was ele-
vated to the run-on side for the last
game after doing well coming off
the bench in the first two games.
POET Leonie Stengart, borrowed
from the elite levels of dragon boat-
ing, and LSPT Carrie Downey were
unrelenting in their support of their
team members running down the
opposition throughout the game.
ASRU won the last game, against
South Australia, in resounding fash-
Navy had seven players in the
squad of 24 picked after a tri-Service
carnival in Canberra in May at which
Army beat a combined Navy/Air
Force team 29-13.
Coach WO Sean Emmett, a four-
Women help ASRU to second
BREAKING THROUGH: ABSN
Saluelanei Gray takes on three South
Australian players at the 2010 National
Photo: LAC Leigh Cameron
time coach of the Army team, took
the ASRU reins this year.
He was assistant coach last year
when ASRU won division two with
two wins from two games but he
rated this year's competition, with
three games, as a tougher ask.
"We played exceptionally well
in the first game (beating NSW
Development 22-5), but we had
some distractions leading into the
second game and we were not in the
right headspace (losing to eventual
tournament winner Victoria 5-29),"
"We got ourselves in the right
frame of mind for the last game
(against South Australia)."
WO Emmett said the Victorians
were always going to be the team
to beat. Last year they played
in division one. Aside from their
own depth, they were bolstered by
recruiting some good players from
Western Australia who were unable
to field their own team this year.
WO Emmett said the ASRU
team's achievements were the result
of all the players, from whatever
Service, coming together as a strong
cohesive unit and working together
for the common goal.
"This was a key aspect of our
preparation," he said.
After stellar performances for
ASRU, Army players loosehead
prop LT Caroline Vakalahi and No
8/lock LT Kate Porter were asked
to train for the Wallaroos team that
will be named later this month
for the World Cup in England in
August. Both women were in last
ABSN Steph Cokanauto
LSPT Carrie Downey
ABSN Aumau Falepau
ABSN Saluelanei Gray
LSCSO Toyah Nicholas
POET Leonie Stengert
LSNPC Renae Woodward
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