CENTRAL West's Blue Bullettes showed that their region is still the powerhouse of women's rugby by successfully defending their NSW Country Rugby Union Championships crown at Tamworth on Sunday.
The Bullettes used the momentum from a strong start to run out 35-15 winners in their final against Hunter and defend the Thomson Cup.
Central West were pushed much harder than their 2019 campaign, where they didn't give up a single point en route to the title, but they lifted the level of their game to match the challenge their opponents provided.
The signs of that were evident in the Central West's 27-5 semi-final success over the Central Coast, where the Bullettes played brilliantly as a unit despite their limited competitive training opportunities as a group.
Central West captain Mel Waterford said the clash against Hunter required the Bullettes to remain sharp all game.
"Considering the short campaign we had together we managed to come together at the right time and all players, one through 25, played their part. We put together an excellent game," she said.
"Yesterday was full of a lot of hard contact and was very physical but this team knew how to play structured football and knew where to hit and where not to hit. That taught the girls a lot about rugby."
Hunter's sharp play asked plenty of questions of the Central West defence but almost every time they had an answer for it.
"Our aim today was to start at full pace and we did that, scoring in the first few minutes," Waterford said.
"From there the plan was to stay calm, stay level-headed and just keep pushing forward. We wanted to be playing the game inside their 22m and we managed to do that.
"We were dominant in our forward running. We wanted to suck the opposition across to open the field for our backs. Our tries came from a great team effort."
Central West did have to push themselves to reach the decider.
Waterford said the Central West squad adjusted well to the physical brand of rugby which Central Coast brought to the table on Saturday.
"The game before was probably our first time all 15 have been on the paddock together at the same time," she said.
"We've had a lot of runs together against unopposed opposition and the Western Plains boys but we haven't had a lot of game day. It was a great game to get the nerves out and set the platform for the rugby that we wanted to bring today."
Amy Townsend, Bridie McLure, Olivia Creswick and Claudia McLaren scored the tries for Central West in their semi-final win.
Waterford's Bathurst Bulldogs teammate McLaren, who was the vice-captain for Central West, was named the player of the tournament.
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