Woolmington bags four as CSU sets up Redbacks date, Emus and Bulldogs win through | Photos

CSU Bathurst coach Dom Huggett said his side wanted to send a message to its Westfund Ferguson Cup rivals in Saturday afternoon’s second-versus-seventh qualifying final against Mudgee, and the students did just that.

The self-proclaimed Custards – a play on their male counterparts’ Mustards tag – thumped the trying Wombats 31-nil in a one-sided affair, earning a crack at minor premiers West Wyalong in next weekend’s major semi-final too.

“A lot of the other sides that played at Molong stuck around to watch, and we wanted to show them what we’re doing, where we are as a side. We did want to send a message,” Huggett said.

“Obviously it worked out because we won but that was exactly how we wanted to play too.

“We got pumped by West Wyalong the first time we played them but we’re a much different side now, we’re looking forward to it, we wanted another shot at them.”

Naturally the students’ win on Saturday came on the back of another ridiculous performance from the competition’s MVP Claire Woolmington.

She scored four of her side’s five tries and they all came in the first half, although it was actually without the ball where she shone the brightest on Saturday.

Woolmington was huge defensively and in the final quarter produced the two biggest shots of the afternoon – including Molong’s GrainCorp Cup clash with Wellington – back-to-back, both were followed with raucous cheers from the big crowd on hand at Molong’s Dr Ross Memorial Recreation Ground.

“She really is one-of-a-kind, she’s just unreal,” Huggett said of Woolmington.

“We all knew what she could do with the ball but you see her in defence too, she was just huge I really look forward to seeing where she goes, I think she could have a big future in rugby union.”

CSU’s clash with Mudgee was one of the Westfund Ferguson Cup’s three qualifying finals at Molong on Saturday afternoon, with Bathurst Bulldogs and Orange Emus both progressing through the final four as well.

They’ll face off in the minor semi-final after eliminating Temora and Cowra respectively.

Bulldogs claimed their win relatively easily, a Nicole Schneider hat-trick inspiring the Bathurst side’s 31-7 victory.

Emus’ win was slightly tougher.

A week after upsetting West Wyalong the greens conceded early against the Eagles, before scoring two quick tries to lead 14-5 at the break.

The Betty Doolan-led Cowra side roared back into the game with a second unconverted try, the two outfits traded five-pointers after that to leave Emus in front 19-15 with little time left on the clock.

Stacey Howarth crossed for a crucial try for the greens, Em McDonald’s conversion pushing the side’s buffer to 11 points, before Cowra scored a consolation try right on full-time.

While the locations of the major and minor semi-finals were set to line-up with the men’s top tier Blowes Clothing Cup, the venues for the women’s games will be confirmed early in the week.

  • CSU BATHURST 31 (Claire Woolmington 4, Rachel Brown tries) def MUDGEE WOMBATS 0
  • ORANGE EMUS 26 (Em McDonald, Amanda Ferguson, Stacey Howarth, Jess Edwards tries; McDonald 3 conversions) def COWRA EAGLES 22 (Tanielle Michael 2, Becky Eastaway 2 tries; Nicky Miller conversion)
  • BATHURST BULLDOGS 31 (Nicole Schneider 3, Kate Gullifer, Ebony Fenton tries; Gullifer 3 conversions) def TEMORA TUSKERS 7