Coach’s Match Report – Round 1 – 29/4/23
It was a beautiful day at Rugby Park with all 6 teams present for this season’s gala format. Pre-season has had its challenges for Easts with little opportunity to train as a whole team. As coach I was just happy that we had numbers on the day to field a full team and a couple on the bench but I took my boots just in case!
Round 1 was against Launceston and despite an awkward crunch that devastatingly put Sarah Double out for the rest of the day (for precaution), proved to be the best start to the season I can recall. Young Mia Mason in her 2nd season playing seniors (with dispensation) made the most of her speed and skill scoring 2 runaway tries and converting them herself! The most memorable moment for us all though was from Mia’s mum Kristy Mason who, in a moment that consolidated all she has learned over the last few years, sold the dummy and side stepped her opponent and kept going to score her 1st ever try! This was successfully converted by Winona ‘Chicken’ Harvey.
Round 2 was against last year’s grand final winners Uni who again have great numbers. This match saw the debut of our newest recruit Caroline Salter who performed admirably despite a significant lack of experience and got involved at every opportunity. Again Mia scored and converted but just the once this time so no win.
Our 3rd game was a final against the Harlequeens.
By this stage our lack of fitness and injuries were taking their toll – at half time I gave the girls the option of pulling the pin but to my immense pride they wouldn’t hear of it and soldiered on. Again Mia scored and converted but it was not enough for the win.
Today saw the welcome return of Raya Thow whose promising start to senior rugby was cut short by injury a couple of seasons ago. It’s great to have another fearless player who can keep up with Mia! Late starter to last season, returning 15s player Michelle Grundy pulled on the boots again to help out and played on despite injury. Ever faithful Ally McCarthy made her presence known with many tackles and chase downs. Last season’s Best Newcomer trophy winner Aeriel Kiker put in a valuable effort that belied the fact that she was not feeling 100% even before taking the field.
I was proud to take the field with these girls today (albeit briefly!) and we finished 4th overall.
Our player voted 321:
3 – Kristy Mason
2 – Mia Mason
1 – Caroline/Chicken
Cock of the Day also went to Kristy!