TRU Round 12 Wrap: Burnie break title drought as Northern trio shine

Mon, Aug 7, 2023, 6:00 AM
TAS Rugby
by TAS Rugby

There’s fresh silverware at Emu Park after Burnie took out the 2023 TRU Women’s Sevens Series Championship last weekend, ending University's three-year reign in the process.

Despite a 21-19 final-round loss to their great rivals, Burnie beat Uni five times across the season and finished five points clear atop the overall season tally with 82 to the students' 77.

The Emus’ success was founded on 14 consecutive wins to kickstart their year plus a late July surge that saw leapfrog Uni and clinch the title with a game in hand.

Outgoing Burnie coach Brett Kershaw said the title was a testament to his side’s “attitude and determination”.

“We want to give full credit to Uni – they’re great combatants and I’m glad I won’t have to coach against them again – and they won that final round in a really tight game,” Kershaw said.

“But we’re so proud of our effort in 2023 because it’s the club’s first ever statewide premiership win and the girls worked really hard for it.

🏆 🏆 Well it's taken 4 years to knock Tasmanian University Rugby Union Football Club women from the top. And once again...

Posted by Burnie Emus Rugby Union Club on Friday, August 4, 2023

“Everyone was down in the dumps after Round 4 with some injuries and tough results but we just decided (winning the title) something we had to do, so we changed our attitude, our determination, our game plan, and we started outplaying and out-thinking teams like Uni.

“Honestly we were all a bit shattered that we couldn’t get it done with a win in the final round but we won the games that mattered."

Kershaw paid special tribute to captain Claire Griffith for her service along with Tongan star Katiola Patolo and rising talent Leilani Zetovic as he vacates the coaching role.

“I made that decision (to retire) very early in the season and it’s a wonderful way to go out,” Kershaw said.

“I’m club treasurer and I’ll be sticking around for that with my wife Lynne as (club) president as well but we’d like a holiday next year over in Europe for the winter.

Yesterday was Leo Tuivasa’s 100th game for the Penguins 👏👏 Thank you and congratulations. Still so young too so let’s hope there are many more to come.

Posted by Taroona Rugby Club on Saturday, August 5, 2023

"I’ve loved every minute of this four-year journey – we started off small and have built up from there to a premiership.”

Meanwhile Taroona, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie have all secured finals qualification in the TRU Premiership with two weeks remaining after a blistering Round 12 across the state.

The Penguins ended Hobart Lions’ hopes of September footy with a 22-7 win at Hutchins War Memorial Oval before the Emus thrashed Glenorchy 84-7 to sew up their top four berth.

Devonport’s place in the finals is also assured after the Bulls’ dominant 38-12 win over Hobart Harlequins with veteran playmaker Ilisoni Tavalagi bagging a double at Don Recreation Oval.

Launceston still lead Taroona in a two-way battle for the minor premiership following the Tigers’ 76-12 thumping of University at Royal Park, however they’ll face a far great challenge this weekend in travelling to Emu Park.

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