Tamworth Rebels will be looking to build on their strong start when the third round of the inaugural North West Women's Rugby League 9s is played at Jack Woolaston Oval on Saturday.
The Rebels were the only unbeaten side in the opening round.
The second round was scheduled to be played at Tingha last Saturday but was cancelled because of the heat, leaving the Rebels with a two point lead.
As impressed as they were though, coaches Mick Schmiedel and Geoff Sharpe aren’t getting too carried away, and are anticipating a sterner test on Saturday.
“We’ve got Armidale in our first game which will be tough,” Schmiedel said.
“Armidale have got a very good side. A lot of their girls have played league before.”
Against Tingha - who similarly had a few league players - last round they struggled a bit until they found their rhythm.
They’ve then got the Mustangs in the final game of the day.
One of the big emphasis’ for Schmiedel is scoring early.
“You get the first try you’ve got the upper hand,” he said, with the tryscorer kicking off.
He and Sharpe also devoted a lot of time in the lead-up to their defence and were thrilled with how they performed defensively two weeks ago.
“Most of the sides have got us for size,” Schmiedel said.
“I was really worried about how the girls would go with the tackling thing but they surprised me.”
“Kendall Horne was massive in defence and Kirby Wood was really good and Jodie Howarth.”
That allowed their attack to flourish, their ability to get on the outside of their opposition in two passes a real strength.
Kim Resch and Amy Barraclough really drove that.
Uralla native Barraclough is a handy pick-up.
“She’s an exceptional rugby league player,” Schmiedel said.
“She’s a huge asset on her kicking alone.”
Entry Saturday is $5 and there will be nine games over the day – seven seniors and two U17s.
The first will kick-off at 12noon and see the Tingha Untouchables and Armidale Rams matching up.
“That should be a cracker,” Schmiedel said.
“They’re both decent sides and will be fresh.”