Women's rugby union ruled supreme on Gloucester No 1 Oval on Saturday with Gloucester Cockies club without a men's team, hopefully temporarily, only to be represented on the afternoon by a champion team in a 48-5 defeat of the Forster Tuncurry Dolphinettes.
Unable to field a men's team this winter due to employment and retirement factors, the women waved the Gloucester flag with distinction on their home ground, Charlotte Maslen the outstanding performer in a display of searing speed for four of the Cockies' eight tries.
Elsewhere, the Wauchope Thunder gave evidence of being worthy challengers in their return to the Lower Mid North Coast competition by inflicting a 47-0 defeat on last year's women's minor premiers, the Wallamba Bulls.
Conditions were perfect in Gloucester for the start of the Kennards Hire premiership. Beneath the Bucketts Range, without the threat of coal miners' explosives, there is no grander venue for rugby union.
And then to the Roundabout Hotel for festivities.
The Dolphinettes who travelled to Gloucester were a new-look side with seven recruits, accompanied by a pleasing number of male patriots including club president-cum-referee, Damian Daczko.
The Dolphinettes' members from last season's inaugural "Sevens" squad and the batch of newcomers were babes in the wood compared to their swift-moving, well- co-ordinated Cockies rivals.
The Cockies were outstanding in their ball-handling and though the competition's new 10-a-side format of four 10-minute quarters proved exhausting, the likes of Maslen, Elle Schumann and Chyanne Reilly were outstanding in their attacking football.
Regardless of the scoreline, there were some most heartening performances from the Dolphinettes.
A visitor from Coffs Harbour, Zoe Worley, was exceptional, her performance highlighted by a 60-metre run, shrugging her way through defenders and powering on for the Dolphinettes' try.
Others to excel were Chloe Coble, Daniela Crowther, Bianca Rugari, skipper Dani Lewis and newcomer Emma-lee Burnett, all of whom tackled fearlessly to stem the tide.
In the men's competition, the Manning River Ratz overpowered Old Bar, 83-3 and the defending premiers, Wallamba Bulls, had a tense struggle before overcoming Wauchope, 17-10.
WOMEN'S tens: GLOUCESTER 48 (C Maslen 4,K Jory, M Hardy, E Schumann S McBride tries; Schumann 4 goals) beat FORSTER TUNCURRY 5 (Z Worley try); WAUCHOPE 47 beat WALLAMBA 0; MANNING RIVER 40 beat OLD BAR 17.
MEN'S XVs: WALLAMBA 17 beat WAUCHOPE 10; MANNING RIVER 83 beat OLD BAR 3. FORSTER TUNCURRY bye.