FOR the second straight year the Group 10 women’s league tag side has defeated its Woodbridge Cup counterparts but it was a lot tougher this time when the two teams met in Dubbo on Saturday.
A game dominated by defence saw them win 6-0 in a tight affair, with a total of four players from Orange helping them keep an unblemished record in their brief representative history.
In 2013 Group 10 ran away to easily win 30-0 but for large parts of Saturday’s game it looked like they wouldn’t post any points at all.
Finally in the second half Bathurst Panthers player Claire Woolmington broke the deadlock when she regathered a kick, with Orange CYMS’ Nikki D’Aquino converting the try as their side took a 6-0 lead.
D’Aquino was joined by Orange CYMS teammates Olivia Patterson and Tori Moore in the Group 10 side, along with Orange Hawks’ Haley Butcherine. Bathurst boasted eight players in the team.
“Even the try itself was probably a bit lucky to be honest,” winning coach Mick Armstrong said.
“Claire was very good all day, she got to the kick first and went over to score. She probably didn’t get her hands on the ball too much, it didn’t go wide all that often but when it did she was probably one of our strongest players.
“Monique Luff out of dummy-half was excellent as well and I thought Tori Moore at five-eighth was the other stand-out.”
While the coach explained that his own team wasn’t quite at its best having only had one training session prior to the match, he was full of praise for the effort of the opposition.
“Their defence was absolutely fantastic, they just didn’t seem to miss a tag all day, so it became very difficult to create opportunities,” he said.
“Their skills are improving heaps and, to me, I think that when they play at their best, it is just as good to watch as the men"
“They grabbed everything and on the back of that we couldn’t find space. Compared to last year, they have just improved out of sight.”
Armstrong said even though league tag in the region is still in its infancy, already he is seeing a huge improvement not just in the Woodbridge Cup side but across the board.
“Their skills are improving heaps and, to me, I think that when they play at their best, it is just as good to watch as the men,” he said.
“It is also great to see a lot of very young players getting involved so it will only get better in the coming years as well.”
GROUP 10 6 (Claire Woolmington try; Nikki D’Aquino goal) def WOODBRIDGE CUP 0