PHOTOS

Regan, Lenehan lead Vipers as memorable WWRL comeback year reaches grand stage

What a difference 12 months can make.

This time last year, the Vipers couldn't muster up enough troops to form an open team to compete in the Western Women's Rugby League opens competition.

Now, on the back of doubles to Heidi Regan and Millie Lenehan, the black and teals are a step away from being crowned the best in the west after storming to a memorable 34-16 semi-final win over Woodbridge Cup on Saturday, booking their place in next Sunday's WWRL grand final.

Marty Lyden's girls led 20-4 at the break and were never really troubled thereafter, Regan and Lenehan each scoring either side of the break to rocket their side to a maiden top grade decider.

Regan is a WWRL star and as the Western Rams fullback is a pivotal cog in the Vipers' success in late 2019, but Lenehan drew praise from Lyden post game as the side's "quiet achiever".

"She scored a couple of tries and made some great tackles. She puts her body on the line," Lyden said.

I've learnt so much this year. It's a great team to be part of ... all the girls are great.

Vipers centre Millie Lenehan

Lenehan's speed and evasiveness proved a point of difference for Vipers out wide at Pride Park on Saturday and the 18-year-old is hoping to be just as effective in next week's decider.

Bec Ford and Ebony Watson also scored tries for the home side, while electric dummy-half Lailee Phillips also bagged a four-pointer on the back of one of her now-trademark darts around the ruck.

Lyden said he was confident leading into next Sunday's grand final against Goannas, the defending premiers and the only unbeaten side so far in 2019.

"I think last time we played them we hadn't yet come up against an opposition that belted us," Lyden said looking at the Dubbo-based outfit's physicality.

"We hadn't had a physical game, so to have two in a row against Woodbridge in the lead-up is a real help. The girls know what to expect now."

We hadn't had a physical game, so to have two in a row against Woodbridge in the lead-up is a real help. The girls know what to expect now.

Vipers coach Marty Lyden ahead of next week's decider

In a big day for the Vipers club, the defending premiers made it through to the under 18s grand final with a 32-22 win over Woodbridge, while the under 13s are also decider bound after 36-8 win over Woodbridge in their semi-final.

Woodbridge Cup, the reigning WWRL under 15s champions, have a chance to defend their crown after winning through to the grand final via a 36-18 win over Vipers.

  • VIPERS 34 (Heidi Regan 2, Millie Lenehan 2, Bec Ford, Lailee Phillips, Ebony Watson tries; Em McDonald 3 goals) def WOODBRIDGE CUP 16 (Molly Hoswell, Nickolle Kirby, Katie Baker tries; Jess Burling 2 goals)

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