The temperature gauge hit 25 degrees when the Roosterettes took to the field in their Barwon Darling Cup match at Lightning Ridge on Saturday.
The highly anticipated match against the Redbacks ladies in a replay of last year’s grand final, was expected to be a close one.
Although down on players for the day and with just one player on the bench, the Roosterettes were keen to continue their dominance in the Ladies League Tag competition.
It was clear from the outset that it was to be a physical game with some tags made that would not be out of play in a men’s league game.
The Roosterettes were defending with vigor with Laura Ah-See, Naomi Whitehurst and Jade Goonrey shutting down the Redbacks’ outside backs raids.
Cobar was flat in their attacking raids however they were sustaining enough pressure in defence to nullify the Redbacks kicking game.
With constant pressure on their leader Maria Nagy’s kicks and the Roosterettes game awareness to attack or defend her kicks, the Roosterettes team totally shutdown the Redbacks raids.
After good lead up work from Tyler Chiswick, Bianka Jacobson and their ever elusive dummy half Brianna Watson, Roosterettes’ fullback Zoë Harland put a towering bomb up that the Redbacks let bounce.
This was duly scooped up by Jenna Fullagar who eluded the cover defence to score in the corner. Harland’s conversion was wide and the Roosterettes went to the break up 4-0.
Their half time team talk was about running onto the ball in attack and taking the “hits” in defence to ensure they maintained their advantage over The Ridge.
The second half was all about attack for both teams, with the Redbacks attempting to get back into the game and the Roosterettes keen to build on their narrow lead.
Cobar was well served in this with Nikki Davey, Emily Claus, Elodie Manns and Fullagar all making great runs constantly forcing the Ridge players to back pedal.
Watson was allowed to scoot from dummy half making easy metres for Harland to put constant pressure on the Redbacks’ fullback with her kicks in play.
The Redbacks were becoming overzealous in attack with each run usually leaving a Roosterette on the ground. Chiswick, Mitchell and Harland came in for the hardest hits, however they always got the tag!
It wasn’t long before errors crept into the Redbacks game and after a penalty and Harland’s quick tap and offload to Watson, the Roosterettes were over under the posts. Harland’s conversion put them up 10-0 midway through the second half.
The Ridge’s attack was not making inroads through the centre of the Cobar defence but a wide run by Nagy sliced through to find a gap out wide and she scored in the corner to put them in with a chance at 10-4.
The Roosterettes outclassed the Redbacks with their teamwork, fitness and resilience to ensure the score remained 10-4.