THE UNE Lions have kept hold of their fifth place after two legs of the Uni 7’s after finishing seventh at Macquarie University on the weekend.
The Lions held off a fast-finishing University of Tasmania to win their seventh place play-off 10-5 on Sunday, Warialda’s Rhiannon Byers scoring both of the Lions tries.
She crossed for the first only a couple of minutes into the game as the Lions virtually set up camp in the UTAS 22 for the half. They were unable though to otherwise turn that pressure into points.
The second half started with UTAS on attack but the Lions repelled them and not long after Byers put them two tries ahead.
The Tom Bower-coached side got a late scare with UTAS scoring in the last 30 seconds but the kick-off went too deep.
Earlier they had gone down to the University of Canberra 24-12 in their fifth place play-off semi-final.
Missing Australian star and captain Alicia Quirk, as well as Tamworth pair Kim Resch and Abby Schmiedel for the second day, the Lions attack was missing some potency.
Still they held UC until mid-way through the first half and only trailed by two at half-time.
The weekend started for the Lions with a 22-15 loss to eventual round champions University of Queensland.
UQ set out from where they left off in the opening round in Launceston, Mackenzie Sadler scoring in the opening minute with a brilliant 80m, individual effort.
Emma Sykes matched Sadler's effort, brushing two attempted tackles en route to UQ's second.
Trailing 17-nil at the break, Resch sliced through a scrambling UQ line to give the Lions some hope. Those hopes were further fuelled when Kate Gilbert crossed a minute later, her second setting up a grandstand finish.
But Emilee Cherry answered with a 70m individual effort to seal the result.
The Lions then played out a 19-all draw with Griffith University.
Resch was prominent for the Lions scoring their first two tries as they took a 14-7 lead into the break. The second she split the line with a slalom type run, then beat the the final defender to score from 40 out.
Quirk made it 19-7 but Griffith scored two unanswered tries, the last as the siren sounded to level.
Resch continued her try-scoring ways in the Lions’ final game of the day against the University of Tasmania, returning the the kickoff for a try in the first 60 seconds.
After UTAS hit back, Byers beat a handful of defenders with her speed to score in the corner.
Schmiedel also found the tryline as the Lions turned a 21-5 half-time lead into a 35-10 win.