THE NSW Country women’s rugby union side has been given a wake-up call ahead of this month’s national championships.
The Corellas were thumped by Sydney 77-12 in their annual Country versus Sydney match in Bathurst on Sunday.
Sydney had a number of Australian Sevens players in its side and the Corellas found it hard to match their speed.
Corellas coach Steve Hamson said the match caught a number of his players by surprise.
“We were still using it as a trial,” Hamson explained.
“We had five or six girls out who will come into the side for the nationals. Still, we should have been able to give a better account of ourselves.
“I think some were a bit shell shocked at the skill, the speed and how heavy the contact was. Sydney were pretty wound up for the game.
“Sydney ran in some great tries. Their speed was too much. You can coach speed.”
Orange Emus’ Rebecca Smyth and Newcastle’s Margaret Watson scored a try each for the home side, while Emus’ Vanessa Foliaki kicked a conversion.
In the Corellas’ first trial last month, ACT came out on top 15-12.
Hamson will name his NSW Country team today to line up in the National Women’s Championships from September 26-28 in Sydney.
The coach said now it was up to the players to prepare for the national competition.
“We won’t train again,” he said.
“We’ll select 23 out of the initial 32. They’ll do individual fitness. There’s enough of them in major centres to do some contact stuff together.
“Beyond that there’s not a lot we can do for them. It’s up to them now. They know they need to be fitter.”
The Corellas will take on the Australian Services Rugby Union (formerly Australian Defence Force), Queensland and Western Australia in their pool matches at the national championships.
Where they finish in their pool will determine what position they play-off for.
“Sydney was a bit of a wake up call,” Hamson said.
“They’ll need to come to nationals better mentally prepared.”