Day 1 of the 2023 Australian Rugby Shield has wrapped up at Ballymore Stadium - see below for our live coverage and click HERE for our full tournament preview and team lists.
19:30 - NSW Country Corellas 20 def SA Black Falcons 8 (Field 3)
Two late tries steered NSW Country home in Day 1's final fixture after South Australia threatened to spoil the Corellas' party.
SA went down 20-8 but never looked out of the fight with Corella standouts Tiana Anderson and Emily Lai scoring in the final eight minutes to flatter their scoreline.
The South Australians opened the scoring via a 24th minute Ella Christie intercept before Anderson equalised on the half-hour to send the sides locked 5-all at oranges.
Christie and Melanie Howard then traded penalties in a tight exchange before Anderson and Lai's one-two punch finally sank the Black Falcons' resistance.
18:00 - Victoria Women 12 def QLD Country Orchids 10 (Field 3)
Reigning champions Victoria have claimed a dramatic 12-10 win over QLD Country to open their 2023 campaign.
Jiowana Sauto opened the scoring for Victoria with winger Halley Derera crossing on the stroke of halftime to double their advantage over the Orchids.
However QLD Country were the better side after oranges, disrupting Victoria's set piece and pressing forward first through a Sarah Pearce try and then Kayla Jackson's effort out wide with three minutes to play.
Sadly for Orchids fans, neither tries were converted with the latter attempt hitting the woodwork, leaving Victoria to grimly cling onto a two-point advantage as the siren sounded.
16:30 - NSW Country Cockatoos 8 def by Perth Gold 31 (Field 3)
A blistering finish has seen Perth Gold storm home over ARS powerhouse NSW Country Cockatoos in the final men's fixture of Day 1.
Trailing 8-7 after a Misieli Sinoti breakthrough try and seemingly without momentum, Perth flipped the script with three quickfire scores through Ethan Cyaless, James Walker and Henare Houkamau, leaving the Cockatoos stunned.
Gold flyhalf Seupepeli Vularika was pivotal from the tee, sinking all four conversions and a late penalty, while reserve halfback Hubert Gilvarry added real spark from the pine.
15:00 - Perth Gold 44 def QLD Suburban 0 (Field 3)
Perth opened their ARS campaign in flying fashion, racking up eight tries in a 44-0 demolition of QLD Suburban.
Gold rocketed out of the blocks with three tries in the opening three minutes to open a 33-0 halftime lead before star halfback Aiyisha Wigley completed her hat-trick in the second stanza.
Winger Bri Wallace also impressed for Perth with two tries while Ariana Ruru-Hinaki, Sofia Bekir Fuente and Numi Tupae rounded out Gold's try scorers.
15:00 - SA Black Falcons 25 def TAS Jack Jumpers 8 (Field 1)
The Black Falcons men are soaring on Day 1 after breaking clear of Tasmania to run out 25-8 victors.
Kicking dominated early proceedings for a dour 3-all halftime score with both sides plugging multiple 50-22s but failing to convert their chances on Field 1.
It was South Australia who shot clear in the second term, opening the afternoon's try though Nicholas Simpson before a Jovesa Bola try and Freeman Eder's boot blew the margin out to 18-3.
Tassie fullback Matt Noble gave the Jack Jumpers hope with a scything run to the tryline but it was too little too late as rival #15 Savenaca Ronavuso crossed and converted on the full-time siren.
13:30 - ACT/SNSW Griffins 39 def VIC Axemen 3 (Field 1)
ACT/SNSW have stamped their Day 1 mark on the men’s competition, rolling Victoria 39-3 in a brutal encounter.
Few would’ve anticipated that scoreline at the 30-minute mark with the sides locked 3-all.
Lachlan Day and Josh Miller traded early penalties before the packs set about trading scrum points in a brutal exchange.
The Griffins earned back to back scrum penalties and looked set to earn a penalty try after 20 minutes but the Axemen flipped that script, winning successive penalties of their own to exit the danger zone.
It took half an hour for the dam wall to burst with Griffins centre Angus Blackmore eventually slicing through beside the sticks, Day's conversion and last-gasp penalty putting his side two scores ahead at oranges.
However the second half saw ACT/SNSW pull away comfortably with a penalty try inside the opening two minutes and Vilisoni Mafileo’s yellow card opening the floodgates.
Ben Dalton and Jack Ketteringham were next to touch down with Christopher Mickelson icing the win just before full-time.
12:00 - ACT/SNSW Kestrels 15 def Australian Defence Force 10 (Field 1)
A first-half double to ex-Wallaroo Sarah Riordan wasn’t enough as ADF fell to ACT/NSW Kestrels 15-10 in a physical ARS encounter
The Kestrels dominated a fiery opening exchange, eventually crossing through winger Grace Tai in the 15th minute after sustained pressure in ADF’s 22.
Riordan, however, had other ideas; first crossing in the far-right corner before the 10-cap centre put her side ahead at oranges with a driving effort close to the line.
But it took just two minutes for Siena Edwards to square the ledger after halftime and when Lily Bone barged over after a storming run from Biola Dawa, the Kestrels looked comfortable 15-10 leaders after 51 minutes.
The comfort wasn’t to last as ADF’s short passing game wreaked havoc with Dawa’s 1-1 defence saving the Kestrels more than once.
However, ill-discipline and handling errors proved ADF’s downfall as three penalties and two knock-ons in the final five minutes crippled their momentum.
Late drama ensured as Luizah Nomoa pilfered a Kestrels ruck in overtime but it wasn’t enough, ACT/SNSW holding out for a five-point win.
10:30 - QLD Country Heelers 29 def QLD Suburban Men 0 (Field 1)
FULL TIME: QLD Country Heelers have emerged 29-0 victors over intrastate rivals QLD Suburban to open their 2023 ARS campaign.
Heelers' flyhalf Joshua Fletcher (pictured) opened the scoring after just two minutes before fullback Curtis Rayment finished well in the right corner five minutes later.
QLD Suburban failed to convert pressure inside the Heelers' 22 with multiple set-piece opportunities left begging, made all the more painful by halfback Tom Christie's opportunistic try on halftime (19-0).
Country prop Brian Chong Nee furthered their advantage after the break, burrowing over to make it 24-0 but Subbies weren't done, setting up camp in the Heelers half for more than 20 minutes.
However lineout woes continued to plague the men in Maroon and Subbies fans could only watch as Heelers flyer Daniele Tabuakuru iced a 50m counterattack in the dying minutes.
Ballymore Field 1
10:30 - QLD Country Heelers 29 def QLD Suburban 0
12:00 - ACT/SNSW Kestrels v ADF Women
13:30 - ACT/SNSW Griffins v VIC Axemen
15:00 - SA Black Falcons Men v TAS Jack Jumpers Men
Ballymore Field 3
15:00 - PER Gold Women v QLD Suburban Women
16:30 - NSW Country Cockatoos v PER Gold Men
18:00 - VIC Women v QLD Country Orchids
19:30 - NSW Country Corellas v SA Black Falcons Women