She's only played tackle footy for one season but Vipers' lock Lilly Baker showed on Sunday why she's one of the most promising rugby league products coming out of the Central West.
The Orange Hawks' league tag gun was one of Martin Power's key contributors during the under 18s Western Women Rugby League grand final at Pride Park as the Snakes smashed rivals Woodbridge 50-16 to secure their second premiership in three seasons.
After the clash, Baker was awarded woman of the match by women's NSW State of Origin legend Kylie Hilder but it took more than one performance to get the girls over the line.
"Kiara Sullivan and Ella Barrett were so good for us," Power said.
"They've been part of our leadership group all season and they just direct the side around."
"But, Lilly's so good to coach. She's really enthusiastic and she's played like this all year. She's been unreal."
Tabua Tuinakauvadra was another standout for the winning side as the barnstorming front rower ran for what felt like at least 200 metres on the day as she bagged a hat-trick of tries.
The stat sheet was a familiar one for the powerhouse as she's made a habit of scoring tries in 2020.
It was in round five when the two sides last met as the Vipers ran out 42-22 winners and Power knew what his side had to do better in order to improve on that margin.
"Their forwards were really good last time we played them and so was their fullback," he said.
"At training this week we worked on stopping them as best we could."
The Power era has truly been a sensational one for Vipers as his side has only lost one game in three years which was the 2019 grand final loss to Goannas.
There's large player turnover every year in the under 18s but the coach is confident he can keep the roll going.
"We'll lose about eight but the other girls will step up."
The 50-point display on Sunday was a fitting end to the season as the Vipers' attack has been a model of consistency throughout the season as it's averaged over 38 points per game.
VIPERS 50 (tries; Tabua Tuinakauvadra 3, Marley Cardwell 2, Jesyca Pearson, Bonnie Kennedy, Ella Barrett, Kiara Sullivan, Lilly Baker, goals; Kiara Sullivan 3, Ella Barrett 2) DEF Woodbridge 16 (tries; Chelsea Apps, Holly Jones, Libby Pechka, conversions; Molly Hoswell 2)
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