Goannas younger grades taking shape ahead of first round clashes

Leader: Amy Townsend playing against Woodbridge during last year's title-winning campaign for the Goannas. Photo: Belinda Soole.
Leader: Amy Townsend playing against Woodbridge during last year's title-winning campaign for the Goannas. Photo: Belinda Soole.

The Wiradjuri Goannas have been savouring the new players heading into the Western Women's Rugby League 2020 competition.

The open competition's defending premiers, having claimed last year's title in a blood and guts grand final against the Panorama Platypi at Kennard park in Wellington.

Coach Amy Townsend, who captained the open's side last year before injury forced her off-field, has been around since the competition's beginning, and is excited to see it continue to grow.

"There certainly has been an influx of players, which is great, it's been a goal for a long time for the western committee," Townsend said.


"It's good to see girls especially in the under 13's and 15's getting an opportunity that we didn't have."

While player numbers aren't an issue for the Goannas, especially throughout the junior age groups, Townsend's still impressed by the growth the competition has undergone.

"It's just amazing, to see where it was four years ago when we started the first competition, we were struggling to fill teams of nine, it's a huge credit to everyone, every executive at every club, especially the western women's committee."

"Now they've got one of the strongest competitions in any region."

The latest additions to the junior squad haven't wasted any time in preparing for their debut, according to Townsend.

"We've done a couple of training sessions, teaching the young girls all the fundamental skills, they've picked it up so quickly."

"There are a lot of fresh faces as well, so it'll be good to see everyone mold and gel together."

The first test will be the Goannas' first round draw of the Castlereagh side that the Goannas defeated in last year's first round to started their campaign off.

"They're definitely not going to be underestimated, our open's girls want to go back to back, but I think the competition's going to be a lot higher standard, especially with the inclusion of Orange," Townsend said.

"Castlereagh seem to have pulled together quite a decent team, full of girls who have got quite a bit of experience, so we can't take them lightly."

"They're one of the toughest games of the year, they love their contact."

The gate opens at 9.30 at the junior Rugby League ovals at Apex Oval, with the kick-off for the under 13's taking place at 10am.

"The thirteens I think will be really good,they're learning very, very quickly."

"Over the next six weeks, if anyone can get down and show their support, across the board, that would be fantastic."

This story Goannas excited by competition's growth, ready for 'tough' Castlereagh opposition first appeared on Wellington Times.