Group 11 2018: Dubbo Westside relying on defence in league tag grand final clash with Parkes

READY FOR IT: Westside halves Tarlee Roberts (left) and Alicia Frail with coach Col Fuller. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE
READY FOR IT: Westside halves Tarlee Roberts (left) and Alicia Frail with coach Col Fuller. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

Dubbo Westside is not the first to call itself ‘the family club’.

Countless clubs in the past have referred to themselves as that, and there’s no doubt many others will going into the future.

And while it’s one thing to say it, it’s another to be able to actually show it’s true.

Dubbo Westside can do that. And it’s league tag side is a perfectly example of it.

In Sunday’s decider, the first on grand final day, there will be a real family feel.

“It’s great to see. We’ve got two mothers who are playing with their daughters,” coach Col Fuller.

“There’s my niece and also my daughter in the team and the majority of the girls are really close to my family and we’re all really close-knit.

“We lost a few players early in the season but the rest of the girls have hung in there and now we’ve made the grand final.”

The Westside team is vastly different to the one which ran out in the opening round, with Jinnaya and Jinnara Tyson having notably made the move to season shortly after the first game.

As with any other team, there’s been injuries and availability issues but all throughout the regular season there has been consistently strong showings.

In fact, the only teams the Bunnies lost to during the regular season were the Parkes Spacecats and CYMS.

The Spacecats finished as minor premiers and will meet Westside in Sunday’s grand final, while CYMS is the side Fuller’s troops defeated in a thrilling preliminary final.

The defensive effort shone in the 12-10 result, with CYMS electric attack kept at bay for the entire second half.

“We can score all over the park … but in our half we’ve just got to work in defence,” Fuller said, looking towards the grand final.

“If we can capitalise on defence and get up early on Indi (Draper) and shut down the (Ward) twins and Sally (Dwyer), she’ll run all day.

“We have got to concentrate on that defence in our half. When we get the ball we will make yardage and I can depend on our girls to put points on the board.”

While there’s plenty of threats in the Parkes side, Westside’s key figures have stepped up.

Alicia Frail, Fuller’s daughter, and halves partner Tarlee Roberts have been in top form and will be vital again on Sunday, while dummyhalf Maddie McGuinness and fullback Madelyn Towney are other players the coach relies on.

Another thing the coach is relying on is a strong showing from Westside fans.

“Every team, no matter it plays, plays and trains all years to be in a grand final and to win it would be a bonus,” he said.

“The senior boys will turn up and that’s what the girls look for. This is the day we need our supporters to turn up and cheer us out.”

Kick-off is 10am.