One-on-one defence key for Group 11 in Western Women's Rugby League under 18s final

KEY: Taneka Todhunter has been a standout for Group 11 and will be vital in the final. Photo: JENNY KINGHAM
KEY: Taneka Todhunter has been a standout for Group 11 and will be vital in the final. Photo: JENNY KINGHAM

The Group 11 under 18s side has endured a few “shaky” weeks in the lead-up to this weekend’s Western Western Rugby League (WWRL) grand final.

The Group 11 side, which plays in the nines format in the junior age group, blitzed the opening rounds of the competition and shot to the top of the ladder.

The Amy Townsend-coached outfit had that fast start to thank as they two losses and a draw in the final three rounds wasn’t enough to knock it off top spot.

On Saturday, Group 11 meets Group 10 in the decider.

“I actually feel that even though we’re going in as minor premiers we’re going into the final as underdogs,” Townsend said.

“I hope that’s something the girls thrive on.

They’ve still been so positive and the biggest thing.

Group 11 coach Amy Townsend

“They’ve still been so positive and the biggest thing. They want to learn about where they’ve gone wrong and where they can improve.”

Another thing which has impacted Group 11’s form is the fact key players like Taneka Todhunter, Alahna Ryan and Larissa Kennedy have been unavailable at different time during the final few weeks.

But they’ll all be back on deck in the decider and that’s something Townsend is thrilled about.

Despite those positives, Townsend is all too aware a win in Saturday’s decider won’t come easy and if her side is going to win it is going to have to defend well.

“We’ve done a lot of work on one-on-one defence,” Townsend said.

“We’ve got enough attacking spark and talent but it will be our defence which wins us the game.

“In nines, if you don’t make that one-on-one tackle then nine times out of 10 they run away so that can make the difference between winning and losing.”

Saturday’s final at Mudgee’s Glen Willow kicks off at 3.10pm and is followed by the senior final.

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