TWO Tamworth Oztag sides are backing themselves against the best in the country as they take on the national titles in Coffs Harbour starting on Friday.
The U13 girls and the U14 boys have got nothing to lose as they take on over 170 of Australia’s best sides as a single association, while all other sides are made up of the best from a group of associations that went well at the State Cup.
Tamworth is the only playing association in the region and so has to go it alone, although for Tamworth Junior Oztag boss Katrina Davis, that could be a positive.
Our girls and boys will have good cohesion from playing together all year,” Davis said.
“The other teams associations only came together last month and won’t be used to playing with each other.”
After a break through season at the massive State Cup for these sides, Davis believes they are more than ready to compete at this top level.
“This is the first year that the boys have won a game and then they won two and were morte than competitive to give thses sides a run.”
“There is 12 in the age group and they should go pretty well.”
The girls side is also brimming with talent, including young star Jada Taylor who recently won best and fairest playing Origin for NSW, while brother Trent is one of the live wires in the boys team.
“The girls lost in the semifinals at Coffs Harbour in the State Cup,” Davis said.
“Even going as a stand alone they can still make the quarter and semifinals and hopefully go further.”
“Any final would be an amazing effort for a stand alone team.”
While Queensland, Metro and the ACT are always strong sides at this level, Davis believes that Central Coast might be the biggest threat.
“Central Coast are always good, but so are the metro sides and all the sides really.”
“These kids have been together all year and have been playing and training hard.”
“They love stepping up to the pace and intensity of that level of competition and hopefully we can win a few games.”
The boys wil be playing five games in a pool of six teams, and will need to win at least two to have a chance of playing in the cross-over finals on Sunday, before the finals and grand final on Sunday afternoon.
The girls are in a pool of five, but will also need to win two of their four games to progress, with both sides opening their account on Friday morning.
All games on the main field (Field 1) will also be live streamed with expert commentary through the Oztag website.