Eden Tigers Amber Seckold and Kamilla Grubesic helped steer the Group 16 Snowy Coast Cougars to victory in their debut ladies league-tag representative match against Wagga Brothers at Tumut last Saturday.
Seckold and Grubesic were joined by 18 girls who were selected from their respective Group 16 clubs, including Eden, Bega, Cooma, Merimbula, Pambula, Bombala, Tathra, Cobargo, Narooma and Moruya.
The Wagga Brothers Ladies team were considered the favourite after recently securing its second consecutive Group 9 title, while the Group 16 ladies were the unknown factor going into the match.
They are now definitely known after winning the match 12-0.
The Cougars meant business from the opening whistle with an unbreakable defensive line.
The Wagga Brothers had a mountain of possession and threatened to score, but strong defence from Seckold, Cooma’s Maree Ingram and Jade Taylor-Lee, and Tegan Mundy (Bega) kept them at bay.
The Cougars were able to string a couple of back-to-back sets with good direction from co-captains Trudi Badullovich (Bega) and Alicia Clarke (Cooma).
This allowed the Cougars to mount an attacking raid, and after some structured running from Grubesic and Hot Doggie Tash Stewart, Badullovich took the ball to the line and turned a slick inside ball to fullback Joccoaa Rogers.
Rogers ran 40 metres to score under the posts. She converted her own try for a 6-0 lead.
Kezie Apps was also in the thick of the action, and pulled off one of her trademark solo tries after re-gathering from a grubber kick to score. Rogers made no mistake with the conversation to give the Cougars a 12-0 lead, which was the final score.
Rogers was voted players player and received the three best and fairest points from coaches Andrew Badullovich (Bega) and Craig Schofield (Cooma).
Cooma’s Maree Ingram was award two points, and Apps one point.
“The girls played really well considering they had never played together as one team,” said Grubesic.
“The Cougars was such an experienced and skilful team and it was a pleasure to be a part of it.
“Amber and I would like to give a special thanks to the coaches, Andrew Badullovich and Craig Schofield, and to all the girls on the team for their exceptional efforts.”
Badullovich said the Cougars victory was an example of good defence.
“A spanner was thrown into the works when Group 9 stipulated the teams must play 11 on 11, which differs from the Group 16 comp’ with 13 on 13,” he said.
“Never the less, the Cougars had no trouble adapting to the sudden change and remained focussed! To add to the challenge, the playing field was soaked due to heavy and prevailing rainfall, proving extremely difficult to maintain traction under foot.
“The girls were really good in defence and it was that defence that assured them victory.”