Toni Skuthorpe enjoyed playing in the Group 4 women's nines last year so much that rather than play league tag over the winter she suited up for Maitland in the Central Hunter Combined open women's tackle competition.
Having played for Walgett Aboriginal Connection (WAC) in the Koori Knockout for a few years, Skuthorpe had a bit of experience playing tackle league but it was her first taste of actual competition nines, and sparked something in her, representative honours for the group and then Greater Northern Tigers following.
"I sort of never played it (league) when I was younger. I sort of only started getting into it the last four years maybe and loved it," she said.
"Love playing it, especially nines."
"I like the speed of it."
Her Maitland side didn't have the best season finishing towards the bottom of the table and picking up just the one win, but it was a good experience.
"It's a tough comp down there so it was tough footy," Skuthorpe said.
In between competitions she played for WAC at the knockout.
"It was a good experience and group of girls and we had a really good solid side," she said.
"We were very unlucky in the quarter final."
They went down to eventual champions Wellington.
Linking up with Kootingal-Moonbi for this season's nines, after playing for the South West Robins last year, Skuthorpe was a strong performer for the Roosters in the opening round, and again on Saturday as they made it two-from-two with a 40-12 win over fellow first round victors Boggabri.
"It was great. We played pretty hard," she said.
"We took a bit to get into it last time but this week I think we really gelled because of the training sessions that we've been having."
She is one of a couple of players that didn't play tag with the Roosters, sister Cassie also joining them for the tackle competition.
"I got asked to play with Kooty so I thought I'd play with them," Skuthorpe said.
"It's a really good club and have made all of the new girls welcome."
Roosters captain Jess Hall opened the scoring after what seemed three minutes of pressure from the Roosters. Maddison Lott crossed a couple of minutes later to make it 10-nil.
April Smith burst through and raced away 70m to get the Roos on the board but the Roosters hit back with two unanswered tries, the first of Georgia Lansdown's hat-trick right on half-time making it 18-6 at the break.
Boggabri coach Jason Kemp said too many mistakes hurt them.
"Nines football you can't drop your ball 20m out four or five sets in a row and expect to defend it," he said.
"To their credit it was a lot more even in the second half but Kootingal were a far better side today."
"I think my girls heads weren't in it today."
Smith scored both of their tries and was one of their best along with Cassidy Morley and Toni Gale.