Harriet Elleman’s ACT Brumbies fall short against Fiji

Harriet Elleman (middle row, fourth from the left) and her ACT Brumbies team mates. Photo: BRUMBIES MEDIA
Harriet Elleman (middle row, fourth from the left) and her ACT Brumbies team mates. Photo: BRUMBIES MEDIA

IT had been 21 years since Brumbies veteran Louise Burrows faced an international team in Canberra, but she doesn't think the ACT women will have to wait that long again.

The Brumbies, featuring Bomaderry’s Harriet Elleman, fell against a high-flying Fiji side but were able to finish strong in a historic match in the capital on Monday.

Brumbies Scrumhalf Remi Wilton scored with the last play of the game as they fell 33-7 against a strong Fijian outfit.

It marked the first time a women's international team had played in Canberra since the Brumbies hosted the USA in 1997.

Burrows, 40, played in both fixtures and with her career winding down the veteran hooker said she was savouring these moments.

"It was so exciting to have that opportunity again to wear the Brumbies jersey, it's always a huge honour and privilege, but I think as you get older you probably appreciate every opportunity just that little bit more," Burrows said.

"The reality is I've only got a few years left in me and to have an international team come to Canberra and play the Brumbies is special.

"I think I was 19 when I played the USA and a lot of my teammates today are around that age, so for them to have this opportunity early in their career is great.

"It was really exciting out there and with 10 minutes to go we said let's just dig deep here and give it our all and we kept giving it to them and it was got the final points.

While the result didn't go their way, Burrows said speed of the game was akin to a Test match and the younger girls would learn plenty from the clash.

"The game started really fast, our club games and even Super W haven't started that fast to be honest," Burrows said.

"It was great for the young players to be out there and experience rugby at that level, that's pretty much what Test match rugby is like and about, quicker and more skilful.

"To get a taste of what it likes to play international rugby at such a young age is really exciting and a lot of girls within this squad are pushing for Super W and Wallaroos honours.

"I think with the growth of women's rugby in 15s with the Super W and around the world we’ll have more international teams looking to tour Australia and hopefully they choose to come to Canberra."

Brumbies coach Tony Doherty said it was great to see his side match it for large periods against international opposition.

"The girls did really well...  at no stage before the 80th minute did they drop off, that's something we've instilled this year, to play to the final whistle," Doherty said.

"Scorelines aren't a major issue in our initial season, it's more about bettering our game, but I think it's great they now feel they can hold their own on the international stage."


Discuss "Elleman’s Brumbies fall short against Fiji"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.