TAMWORTH’S U12s oztaggers are among the best for their age in the state.
The Cath Tiberi and Amanda Taylor-coached side finished third at the Junior State Cup at Wollongong on the weekend.
It was a fantastic result, especially considering it’s only the second time Tamworth has taken sides away.
“It was absolutely brilliant,” Tiberi said.
She and Taylor couldn’t have been happier with the way the girls performed.
“They played beautifully as a team,” Tiberi said.
“Everyone played the position they were put in.”
The side ranged in age from 9 to 11 and, while there were a few new faces, several of the players had gone down to the championships last year as part of the U12s side.
“Last year we used it as experience. Obviously it paid off,” Tiberi said.
The difference was clear to see.
“We scored about 26 tries this year as opposed to one last year,” she said.
They were placed third after the pool component after wins over Nor West (3-2), Lake Macquarie (5-1), Camden (9-0) and ACT (5-nil), and losses to Central Coast (5-1) and South Sydney (5-1).
That put them up against second-finishing Central Coast in the semi-final.
The coastal side was again too strong for them but the Tamworth girls gave them a scare, only going down 3-1.
“It was an excellent effort,” Tiberi said.
“It took a while to score a try – the defence was excellent from both sides.”
As the scoreboard suggests, there wasn’t a lot between them.
“It was just a couple of missed tags that cost us,” Tiberi said.
They were the best-performed of the six Tamworth sides that competed but they all tried their best and acquitted themselves well.
“All the teams had moments where they did well,” Tamworth Junior Oztag’s Katrina Davis said.
They just came up against some very well-drilled sides.
“The standard of play was exceptional, especially when teams are playing all year round,” Davis said.
The size of some of the sides was also comparatively big.