League contest puts players on cloud nine

The second annual Western Women’s Nines competition got off to a flying start on Sunday, with Dubbo CYMS stamping their mark.

CYMS racked up two wins in Sunday’s double-header opening round, winning 26-0 over Wellington and 24-4 against Mountain View Misfits – despite being able to field only eight players.

The day saw eight teams from across the western region converge on Caltex Park, with beginners and representative level players coming together in the full contact form of the game.

The six-week competition also doubles as selections for the Western Rams women’s outfit.

Brigette Fernando led the Westside outfit, the majority of whom had never played rugby league with tackling before.

They kicked off their campaign with an 18-0 win over the Macquarie Raiders, followed by an 18-10 against the Orange Hawks.

Westside’s Litisha Boney managed a try and a try assist in the win, while pick-ups from Forbes Amy, April and Maggie Townsend also stood out.

“That win was just a big confidence boost for us I think,” Fernando said.

“A couple of them were nervous at the start, but once they had that tackle, and that run, they just blew the cobwebs away and they were right then.

“I think you just need to be a bit healthier to do it with the contact.”

Raiders captain Sedia Towney-Elemes agreed the contact version of the game was harder work.

She said her side had transitioned well from league tag, and hoped they could just have fun and get fit.

...All you’ve got to do is just be committed, show up each week and then the opportunities are there...

Rikka Lamb-Lane

“It’s very tough … it’s hectic,” she said.

“You’ve got to actually literally get in there and put your body on the line to get them not to score but also to score for yourself.

“You end up battered and bruised at the end of the day but it’s good.

“I just want to … have fun and not be too competitive hopefully. Just have fun and be fit and just have a good run.”

CYMS’ Rikka Lamb-Lane said the nines competition was great for women of all abilities.

She said it was great Country Rugby League was continuing to develop a pathway for female players.

“It’s good that there’s this rugby nines tournament available for the girls,” Lamb-Lane said.

“Obviously they’re selecting a Western Rams team so the opportunities are coming for girls that are keen, so all you’ve got to do is just be committed, show up each week and then the opportunities are there which is good.”