Orange Hawks and Dubbo CYMS look set for a CRL Western Women’s Nines showdown at Caltex Park after both sides again progressed through the most recent double header undefeated.
The two blues girls racked up big 34-0 and 16-0 wins over the Oberon-Nyngan Tigers and the Mountain View Misfits, respectively, while the Fishies, the Group 11 league tag champions, stormed to a 30-0 win over Dubbo rivals Macquarie before hanging tight in another derby, a 16-10 thriller against Westside.
The two teams play on opposite sides of the draw again this weekend, before coming together in round seven – easily the most anticipated clash of the fledgling tournament.
Hawkies co-coach Jordan Dwyer said the standard across the competition was impressive, but it’s his girls and Dubbo CYMS’ outfit that have stood out the most.
“I think so, they’re pretty good,” he said of the Dubbo club.
“It’s all a bit unknown at this stage though. It’s a pretty busy time of year, teams vary week-to-week but, watching them, they’ve definitely got some talent.
“The standard is great… results aren’t as important as having a crack is at this point, but winning has been great.”
Dwyer said the key to his side’s unbeaten start to the tournament has been playing smart.
Hawks are by far one of the smaller sides competing in the nines, but move the ball better than most – Sophie Stammers and Lailee Phillips, both named in Western’s side, both scored four tries across their team’s two games on Saturday.
Stammers’ try-scoring feats are well known in Group 10, but the Blayney product has been brilliant in the nines – bagging sevens tries in just four games.
The Bear-come-Hawk scores tries for fun.
“We were saying that they other day,” Dwyer laughed.
“She’s such an opportunist. She takes full advantage when she’s got the ball.”
He said the entire Hawks side has been a pleasure to coach.
“They’ve been really good ... pleasantly surprised. There’s no bad habits they need to break, they’re picking it up really quickly,” he said.
“They’ve only had 16 points scored against them … we’ve worked hard on tackle technique, the defensive side of things.
“They’ve been able to embrace the contact side of things. They’ve ripped in and been pretty psychical.”
Dwyer believes it’s only a matter of time before more sides in the region embrace the league.
“Coming from Queensland, it’s massive up there,” he added.