First Open women's team gives carnival a red-hot go

Krystal Laughton on the attack for Dubbo against Norths.
Krystal Laughton on the attack for Dubbo against Norths.

Dubbo's Open Womens team has been competitive at Port Macquarie in the 2012 NSW Touch State Cup.

The event is held every year and brings together the top teams in the state.

This was the first year the Dubbo Touch Association has entered a women's open team and while they were unsure what to expect they were keen to give the competition a red-hot go.

In the first pool games Dubbo came up against Manly Eagles (2) and the top ranked Easts Roosters.

The Dubbo girls came away with a draw against Manly (2) and managed to score the first try against Easts giving them a bit of a shake up with the final score 10-2 not reflecting the game's intensity, with Easts going on to win the tournament.

"We were a bit surprised at how well we went against Easts given they play in a premier division in Sydney which gives them far more match fitness and practice than us. We really just wanted to score against them," said coach Tracey Quayle.

"The fact that we heard their coach blasted them after the game made us feel we had done pretty well against them."

The draw with Manly and the better score against Easts than Manly meant Dubbo finished second in their pool and were placed in the second division which is for all teams in the top 20 of the state.

On the following days the Dubbo team played North Sydney, Taren Point, UNSW and Taree with each game being a tough battle with three of the four games being quite close.

However, Norths, who just missed out on the first division, were too good for everyone and ended up winning the second division.

"We went into this tournament ranked outside the top 20 so to finish inside the top 20 is great. This was our goal but we weren't really sure if we would achieve it," Quayle said.

"We were really competitive, especially against some of the higher-ranked teams, so with this experience under our belts we will be able to go back next year and improve on this again.

"Everyone in the team played exceptionally well throughout the weekend with the defence really making it hard for teams to get across the line.

"In the end it was probably our fitness compared to our metropolitan counterparts that was the difference in some games."

Dubbo Touch players Neil Webster, Michael Garnsey and Graham Robinson also played in the tournament for other clubs while referees Rob McKechnie, Paul Keyte and Mick Medlin represented Dubbo, with Medlin finishing as the second top referee for the tournament and having the honour of officiating the Men's Open final.


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