Central West, NSW Country Rugby Union champions.
It has a ring to it, doesn’t it?
Amanda Ferguson certainly thinks so.
She, one of Central West’s coaches, couldn’t be prouder after watching the side claim the inaugural women’s sevens title in emphatic fashion at Port Macquarie last weekend.
Central West went through the tournament undefeated and untroubled until Sunday morning’s thrilling decider against Hunter.
Although, despite a 19-10 scoreline, Central West won that game pretty comfortably too.
“It’s so exciting,” Ferguson enthused.
“The girls were so pleased, absolutely over the moon after the win.
“The big thing for us is that no one player really stood out [on the second day], it was just a really great team effort.”
Central West’s squad was made up of Stevens, Cowra’s Inge Visser, Tanielle Michael and Kystal Fyfe, Mudgee’s Brittany Thurlow, West Wyalong’s Amanda Bergin, Brodie Ford and Mandy Scott, Bathurst’s Marita Shoulders, Danielle Plummer and Nicole Schneider and Temora’s Roxanna Dougall.
After leading 12-5 at half-time Central West extended that lead to 19-5 after mercurial skipper Inge Visser crossed not long after the break.
Although Hunter pegged it back to 19-10 with a late try, Ferguson said she was always confident her side would hold on and claim the title.
“They scored with about a minute left so there wasn’t much time left in the game anyway,” she explained.
“We knew we just needed to be patient and hold them out, then we did get the ball back and kicked it out to chew up some time, held on and won.”
On top of the win, West Wyalong’s Sharnah Stevens was also named player of the tournament after the final.
“She was a very deserved winner, I think it would’ve been very close between her and Inge but we were all so pleased for Sharnah,” Ferguson said.
“It’s really encouraging to see some of the GrainCorp Cup players come into these sides and perform really well.
“They’ve been playing sevens for a couple of years now so I guess they are a bit further along in the format than the Blowes Clothing Cup players, but it’s great to see.”
Central West won through to the final with a ginormous 31-5 victory over Central North, a game Ferguson predicted to be a tough, physical encounter after the opening day’s fixtures.
In Saturday’s preliminary games, Central West thumped Mid North Coast 29-0 and handed Far North Coast a 22-0 thumping.
Although there is no NSW Country sevens side picked from the tournament, Ferguson said she’ll be encouraging all her troops to put their names forward for state selection later this year.
She said she’s confident plenty of the group would be a real show to earn NSW honours.