Oztag: Tamworth 20s claim Australasian crown at New Zealand tournament

CHAMPIONS: Geoff Sharpe with part of his side that played in New Zealand over the weekend. PHoto: Peter Hardin
CHAMPIONS: Geoff Sharpe with part of his side that played in New Zealand over the weekend. PHoto: Peter Hardin

The Tamworth women’s 20s tremendous 2017 has continued on the oztag field.

After claiming the NSW State Cup title earlier this year, the 20s team added an Australasian crown to the mantelpiece over the weekend.

The three-day Challenge Cup carnival starting ran from Friday to Sunday in New Zealand.

A number of teams pulled out of the tournament which saw organisers bundle the women’s 20s, senior and open teams into one division.

Tamworth made it through to the semi-finals only to fall to the ACT senior side in extra time.

But the side’s tournament wasn’t quite over as Tamworth then took on Auckland for the 20s Australasian title.

“We ended up playing the Auckland 20s team in our own [20s] final and beat them 6-5 so they gave us the gold medal for the 20s,” Tamworth coach Geoff Sharpe said.

“The girls were buggered – that was their ninth game over three days and we only had the 14 players go over – it was a huge effort from them.”

The feat was impressive and Sharpe puts the strength of his side – and women’s oztag in Tamworth – down to how much football women are able to play.

“With the advent of league tag, rugby league and rugby union [for women] – a lot of the girls are playing more football-based sports,” Sharpe said.

“And we just keep encouraging the girls with their skills.”

Sharpe wasn’t just coaching at the Challenge Cup. He also found time to strap on the boots for Port Macquarie in the men’s 45 division.

“Port Macquarie only took 11 blokes away so me and Jeff Faint, who was my manager for the 20s, we played six games with them. We won six from six and they gave us a gold medal,” Sharpe said.

Tamworth was also represented in the official ranks with Ryan Schmiedel refereeing the under 18s final.

“He’s an awesome referee in our oztag community. He was sensational,” Sharpe said.