Orange Emus added to their 2018 silverware haul last Friday night, downing Bathurst Bulldogs in the Central West Rugby Union Women's Summer Sevens Series decider to back up the club’s Blowes Clothing Cup first and third grade titles.
Led by ACT Brumbies Super W training squad stars Em McDonald and Jacky Lyden the greens romped home against the Westfund Ferguson Cup champions, winning the grand final 33-12 and capping an undefeated campaign in the process.
“It’s really exciting, it was a great way to finish the competition,” Emus player-coach Amanda Ferguson enthused.
“The girls had trained really hard all the way through and they’re all very passionate about the game, so to get the win is great for them.
“It was really, really good rugby too. The final was a great game, Bulldogs played really well too.”
There’s no doubt Ferguson was stoked with the premiership, but she made a point of highlighting how beneficial the competition looks to be for the region.
“The number of players, new players in particular, that had a go is really encouraging,” Ferguson said.
There was a plethora of multi-sport talent that turned out in the inaugural competition and Ferguson, who has a Central West and NSW Country focus as well, says the challenge now becomes retaining those players.
She said she’s hopeful a number of them will turn out in next year’s Westfund Ferguson Cup too, at least those the greens picked up during the competition.
Ferguson, who is also the Wallaroos’ manager and the namesake of the competition proper, explained her club will continue training over the summer in a bid to encourage and develop those players.
“I’m pretty sure all the new girls we had play for us really enjoyed it, but the challenge is retaining them,” she said.
“At Emus we’ll be continuing to train over the summer, doing fitness training and that sort of thing to hopefully keep the new players we picked up in the sport for next season.”
The Summer Sevens Series welcomed a number of teams that didn’t contest last year’s 11-team Westfund Ferguson Cup.
Narromine, Coolah and Dubbo Kangaroos all contested the Northern Division of the sevens tournament, and while only the Gorillas fronted for Friday night’s final round at Endeavour Oval, there remains a chance the burgeoning sides could join an expanding competition proper in 2019.
However it remains to be confirmed, as does the question of whether Young and Boorowa – who return to Central West next year – will field their own women’s sides as well.
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