Tiger taggers brave the Bear pit

IT was a battle of the Tigers and the Bears at Jack Woolaston Oval on Saturday.

North Tamworth and Manilla continued their build-ups for the season with their men’s and ladies league tag sides playing trials.

The ladies’ league taggers met first. Following that the Bears’ seconds tackled the Tigers.

The hosts took the ladies’ league tag honours in what was a valuable hit-out for both sides.

Both are still in their infancy.

This year is the Bears’ first opportunity to play Ladies’ League Tag, being introduced to the First Division competition.

It started in Second Division last year but the Tigers weren’t able to rustle up a side.

They’ve got one this season and have had pretty good numbers.

“We’ve probably got about 20,” coach Rob Cassidy said.

They’re a mix of ages ranging from juniors to older players.

“Everyone’s really getting behind them,” he said.

It is all new for them.

“For a lot of the girls Saturday was the first time they’ve even held a rugby league ball,” Cassidy said.

Outside of training anyway.

Only one has played oztag before, he said. There’s a few that have played touch before but league tag is a different game.

“I was pretty happy with how they went,” he said.

“Obviously we were playing a far superior side.”

“(But) For a team that had never really played before they did well.”

He said they’ve been training since about late December.

“We basically started from scratch,” he said.

“I’m really pleased with the progress.”

On Saturday he was particularly impressed with the way they kept competing, despite the fact that they were really up against it.

“There was some glimpses of some of the things we’ve been trying to show them over the last couple of months,” he said.

They were unable to get across the line, but did come close a couple of times.

They’ll get another chance to develop this Saturday when they participate in the Pepperell Shield.

Bears’ player Belinda Clegg said they went really well.

“We all played really well,” she said.

“It was a good team effort.” 

It was their third trial after taking on the Oxley Diggers and Dungowan Cowgirls, and Clegg said there was a noticeable improvement.

“Our defence was a lot better,” Clegg said.

It was a lot tighter and the support was better.

Their ball work also showed improvement.

“We were working well and getting the ball out,” she said.

She said it is coming along well and the team is working hard.

Their next engagement is the Wests Knockout.

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