Northern defeats Southern in Country Rugby League trial at Mudgee's Glen Willow Oval

You can’t win games when you cough up the footy.

That’s the simplistic approach that Southern head coach Adam Bezina took when reflecting on his side’s 24-8 loss to Northern on Saturday.

“Errors in football can cripple you and they kept compounding in the first half,” he said.

“A few passes pushed, maybe some of the girls were nervous. I think we only completed three sets in the first half.

“I just asked the girls to do a job at half time and we responded very well.”

Bezina’s unit faced a 20-0 deficit at half time but turned things around in the second stanza, winning it 8-4.

LINING 'EM UP: Ruan Sims was devasting in defence on Saturday, particularly in the second half. Photo: Jake Humphreys

LINING 'EM UP: Ruan Sims was devasting in defence on Saturday, particularly in the second half. Photo: Jake Humphreys

This was largely due to the defensive efforts of decorated Jillaroo Ruan Sims who laid the smackdown on over a handful of Northern ball carriers.

“She assumed that leadership role and after making an error early in the second half she more than made up for it,” he said.

“Mikayla Malaki came on at nine and gave some great service and Hayley Lepaio took some stopping in her ninth game of footy too.”

Southern fielded five Group 10 players and was on wrong end of a barrage in the first half that was capped off by a Melanie Howard try just before half time.

Howard was part of the 15 Newcastle players that were selected for the Northern side that only had one training session in the lead-up to the event.

Head coach Michael Young felt that hampered his side to an extent, but was all-in-all happy with how his team carried itself.

IMPACT PLAYER: In her ninth game of rugby league, Hayley Lepaio made an immediate impact for Southern when she came off the bench. Photo: Jake Humphreys

IMPACT PLAYER: In her ninth game of rugby league, Hayley Lepaio made an immediate impact for Southern when she came off the bench. Photo: Jake Humphreys

“The girls ripped in and worked hard,” he said.

“We need to do our job for the whole game rather than dropping off here and there.

When asked to single out some star performers, Young was quick to direct conversation back to all 20 players.

“The team did its job and that led to certain individuals stepping up.”

“Mel Howard was smart today and Kylie Hilder was strong but overall, the team stepped up.”

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