Claire Woolmington scores brace in Country Corellas loss to Sydney Rays

THE Country Corellas already made history with their recent win over the Sydney Rays and on Sunday they had the chance to double their success against their metro opposition in Camden.

GETTING POINTS: Claire Woolmington, pictured playing for CSU, scored both tries for the Country Corellas in their loss to Sydney Rays.

GETTING POINTS: Claire Woolmington, pictured playing for CSU, scored both tries for the Country Corellas in their loss to Sydney Rays.

However, a classy Rays outfit clipped the Corellas’ wings in a strong second half performance to win 34-12.

Bathurst’s Claire Woolmington came away with a memorable consolation prize, scoring both of Country’s tries – running the length of the field to complete her double in the shadows of full-time.

Corellas had broken their drought against the Rays with an 18-17 win a fortnight earlier and went into the second game knowing they had what it took to do it again.

Rays threated to jump clear with two early tries but Country were right back in the contest at half-time when Woolmington’s try in the corner brought the deficit back to 12-5.

Experience showed in the second half when the Rays piled on 22 unanswered points.

The hosts scored from close range early in the new half then produced an unconverted try inside the 50th minute.

When the Rays scored on the wing on the hour mark the result was effectively sealed.

Woolmington managed to find a break from a penalty deep within her side’s own territory, finishing off the match in an entertaining fashion.

Despite being defeated in the rematch Woolmington took plenty away from both contests against the Rays.

“It was great to get those tries. It felt really good,” she said.

“The Rays have got a lot of experience playing 15-a-side and a lot of time in those games as well, playing for 80 minutes, which we don’t get out here. That really tests you.

“It was a same sort of scenario as our first game. We went into it feeling like we had nothing to lose because metro have the experience and some big girls. We put it all out there just to see how we’d go.

“A few changes were made after half-time and they just seemed to get on a roll and took it away from us.”

CSU player Woolmington was part of a strong Bathurst contingent which expanded even further for the second match.

Claudia McLaren was brought into the team to play alongside her Bathurst Bulldogs teammates Mandy Scott, Mel Waterford and Marita Shoulders.

Central West talents Em McDonald (Orange) and Sharnah Stevens (West Wyalong) also backed up from the previous win.

Keep up to date with the latest sports news by clicking here.

Woolmington said both the Central West collective and the remainder of the Corellas squad have been incredibly supportive.

“Every single one of the girls have more experience than I have because it’s my first year of rugby, let alone 15s,” she said.

“I was just listening to everything they had to say and taking it all onboard. It was an unreal experience.

“I’ve played rugby league with Emily and I have a good idea of how she plays. I only met Sharn this year when I played against her but, like Emily, she’s another player that I enjoy playing off as well.

“This was an experience you can’t take for granted. It’s not every day you get to pull on a country jersey and be there alongside so many other Central West girls.”

Did you know that you can sign up for our free morning headlines email?