DENNIS Moran has seen a wealth of talented players in his time as a player and coach but seeing the new Country Rugby League Women’s Western Nines firsthand left him impressed.
The former professional footballer and Western Rams coach took in the final round action at Bathurst’s University Oval on Saturday.
“On the weekend, some of the raw talent I saw from those girls was just unbelievable,” the CRL community football officer said.
“I think some of the skill was unbelievable, I was shocked with how well they went. It was just great football all around.”
Orange Hawks posted a pair of wins on Saturday, downing St Pat’s and the Oberon-Nyngan Tigers, to head into the November 4 finals undefeated.
The Saints locked in second spot and will be joined by Dubbo CYMS and Mountain View Misfits in the semis.
The remaining teams – the Tigers, Dubbo Macquarie, Dubbo Westside and Wellington – will take part in a knockout series on the same day.
Moran can see the the potential for greater involvement from female players across Western Division, and also pointed out areas in which he feels the current competitors can improve.
Not surprisingly, it centres around tackling, a skill new to almost all those playing.
“Its potential is going to grow, it’s only going to get bigger. The more girls we get playing, especially if we start them at a younger age, it’s only going to to help it,” he said.
“I think it’s just a bit more practice that they need, especially with the tackle aspect. We don’t want the girls to go out and put their heads in the wrong spot.
“The Orange Hawks team, they were fit and for girls to be competitive and not get injured, that’s what they need to be, they need to get themselves in the right shape. Tackle is a lot different to league tag, picking yourself up off the ground, actually putting your body on the line, you can get hurt if you’re not fit.
“If players could slow the other teams down, just lay on them a bit more in tackles, it would be a different story because at the moment they are playing the ball so quick.
“At the moment it’s tackle and get off. The more they learn and be coached, they are only going to get better.
“As it gets bigger and better it’s going to make it more enjoyable for people to come along and watch as well.”