Should Group 16 continue the women’s tackle event in 2019, there is almost no doubt the competition will grow.
Players across the Open ladies competition agree there was an overwhelming positive view of the debut competition.
“There are so many people involved and excited about the new sport,” CBU Panther Caitlin Johnson said. “The tackle has drawn enormous interest from players and spectators alike.”
Johnson said she had enjoyed the code bringing players together and working with inclusions from Eden.
“We love playing alongside them,” she said, adding she believes Cooma and Eden will be two clubs likely to join in future, saying she was surprised they didn’t have a team this time.
Meanwhile, Bega’s Trudi Badullovich has been an advocate for the contact format for many years and was ecstatic to see the code take off.
“It’s just going to keep building and be bigger than Ben Hur eventually,” Badullovich said.
She’s been keen to pull on the tri-colours in a game she described as an adrenaline rush and “one of the last great physical contests”.
“People want to see how far they can push themselves and face that challenge, personally I’ve been waiting for this a long time,” she said.
A highlight has been the camaraderie and sportsmanship from players with some clubs amalgamating to get numbers up.
Anyone who hasn’t yet seen a game is encouraged to get along to Colombo Park in Bemboka this Saturday from 3pm.
Badullovich said it will be the pinnacle of the competition as it has started and a great exhibition of new skills.
“Narooma are going in undefeated, but I think we’re the right team to take them on,” she said.
An even bigger draw card for her and many others is getting to see their own daughters take on the competition in the under 14s and 17s.
“The excitement for me really has been watching the 14 and 17-year-olds, they’re building such confidence in their own strength and taking on that physical contest.”
The skill base has grown exponentially in a few short weeks – in all three grades - and with new pathways coming on board the next Kezie Apps in making could be waiting in the wings.
“You’ll see more and more of them continuing and getting up to Canberra or Helensburgh to follow in Kezie’s footsteps,” Badullovich said.
The final of the Group 16 Ladies Nines will go ahead at Bemboka’s Colombo Park on Saturday from 3pm.
3pm 3v4 Merimbula-Pambula v Cooma
3.30pm 1v2 Narooma v Bega
4pm 3v4 Narooma v Bega
4.30pm 1v2 Cooma v Bombala
5pm 3v4 Tathra v Candelo-Bemboka
5.30pm 1v2 Narooma v Bega