For anyone who knows Bec Smyth, the thought of her being filled with doubt before a match is hard to believe.
A former Australian rugby player who featured at three World Cups, Smyth is one of the region's finest athletes and has starred for the Wiradjuri Goannas in the Western Women's Rugby League over a number of years.
But, ahead of Saturday's match against the Castlereagh Cougars, it wasn't all confidence pre-game.
There was plenty of apprehension around the contact side of the game after a shoulder injury suffered in round one last season severely limited her ability in defence.
"I was really nervous," the 38-year-old said.
"I was thinking I'm an extra year older and can I still tackle? Do I still have it?
"So I think I went out to prove to myself I can still do it and still make those tackles."
Feedback the five-eighth received post-game certainly confirmed she'd overcome the injury and hadn't lost any skill of toughness.
"Any chance I got I would be up there and after the game some friends said you don't have to tackle that much as a half," Smyth laughed.
"But that's the part of the game I love."
Smyth missed the Goannas' round one win over the Vipers but was among her side's best in Saturday's stunning come-from-behind win at Apex Oval.
Heading into the final minutes of the match, the Goannas were trailing a vastly improved Cougars outfit.
But, largely off the back of newcomer Sam Sharpley, the Goannas lifted and three tries in the blink of en eye secured a remarkable 34-24 victory.
"It was crazy," Smyth said of the result, before praising Sharpley.
"I'd never met her before but she was fantastic. She was the one that got us over the line."
Meeting new players on the day of the game is nothing new for the Goannas given players come together from a large geographical area and there's limited chances to train.
But the bond within the side has helped develop the side into one the competition's strongest each and every season, with two grand finals played in the past three seasons.
"It's so good. For me, it was my first game and it would have been the same for a lot in round one in Orange, you don't know a lot of them straight away," Smyth said.
"But by the end you're mates and giving each other cuddles and it's awesome.
"I've seen some of these girls in other codes but didn't know them all and it's the same every year but by the end of it (the season) you're best mates."
As well as Sharpley and Smyth, Lillyann Mason-Spice, Amy Townsend and Tiffany Stanley also scored tries over the Cougars.
The side benefited from the improved depth the club has this season, with coach Peta Powyer again afforded the luxury of rotating her forwards throughout the contest.
Sharpley was one of the players who started on the bench and was key against a spirited Cougars outfit.
"It was so tough," Smyth said of the game.
"I said this to the Castlereagh coach afterwards but every time we'd played them before there had been a weak point in their defence so that's where you would target.
"But there wasn't that yesterday and across the board they were fantastic."
The Goannas are top of the ladder with two wins from two and will enjoy the bye next week before hosting competition newcomers Lachlan District in round four on Sunday, October 22.
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