Gems take 18-nil win at Sydney

Wellington’s Rhianna Sutherland donned a First Nation Gems jersey as she took part in the Festival of Indigenous Rugby League at Sydney last week.

Sutherland took part in a week of cultural activities and preparation for Saturday’s match against the New Zealand Maori Womens at Redfern Oval. 

While the Gems returned an 18-nil win, Sutherland came off second best at the start of the second quarter when the powerhouse forward took a knock to the jaw during a defensive contest. 

“I played the first quarter, a bit of the second and then had to go off,” she said. “The girls were massive so it was pretty hard to stay on there for long – they were too hard for me to tackle, they were just massive. I put one good hit on in the first half but got sat on my bum a couple of times, I’m not going to lie.” 

Sutherland said she took a lot from the week-long camp, gaining valuable insight into the game from women who had experience playing in the Women’s Indigenous All Stars match.