HOW to beat West Wyalong?
That is the question facing CSU women’s coach Dom Huggett this Saturday as his team faces West Wyalong in the Ferguson Cup’s major semi-final at Parkes.
West Wyalong claimed the minor premiership this season and with a points differential of +580, it holds title favouritism.
On top of that, one of West Wyalong’s 10 regular season wins came at CSU’s expense, downing the students 69-5.
“How do we beat them? It’s going be really tough. Looking at their results and seeing the players they have, it’s going to be a good test,” Huggett said.
“But this is something we have been waiting for since round three, we are really looking forward to it.
“We will just play our usual style of football, pretty wide football, and we will just have to get into the game in defence.”
Defence has been an area in which CSU has improved markedly since its last meeting with West Wyalong.
In fact CSU has not lost since that Saturday back in April and after beating Mudgee 33-0 in last weekend’s qualifying final, Huggett’s team is on a 10-game winning streak.
The line-up he will use in Parkes on Saturday – including Ferguson Cup player of the year Claire Woolmington – is more a formidable than what West Wyalong faced before as well.
“That game when we versed them in round three, we virtually had a whole different forward pack to what we have now. We didn’t have Claire [Woolmington] during that game either, so there’s been a lot of change,” Huggett said.
“We do a lot of fitness and have a lot of younger girls. A lot of other teams have big girls who are strong runners, but we are much fitter.
“I still think we are the underdogs, but that’s how I like to play. If you asked any of the other clubs they would say West Wyalong have the game, but I think that works in our favour.
“Only about three of girls had every really played rugby before out of 18, so it was good to verse Mudgee last weekend in that high intensity rugby.
“The defence itself gave them a lot of confidence in their ability and they really turned it up. When you go out and see how they are playing now, they are backing themselves and really have a lot of confidence.”
Kick-off on Saturday is 12.40pm in Parkes. The winner will advance to the grand final, while the loser will play either Bulldogs or Emus in the preliminary final.