WHEN Emily Warner suffered an season-ending ACL injury before the 2019 New Era Cup league tag competition even began it was a massive blow for CSU Blue, but the good news is they have another star in the making.
Her name is Issy Hunt.
Hunt scored all 12 points - a pair of converted tries - as CSU Blue opened the new season with a 12-10 win over a much improved Lithgow Bears last Friday. Her play-making skills also impressed coach Oscar Thorburn.
"Issy, she's a new girl and she's just a freak, she's definitely one to watch," he said.
"She played half, but she may end up moving back to a fullback position, I'm just not really sure what we're going to do with her yet. But she's something else, I think she has got a really strong rugby union background, played some rep stuff there, and we were lucky enough to have her."
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Having someone of Hunt's talent is a much-needed boost for CSU Blue given Warner will not be lacing up her boots this year.
"Emily Warner, she was the best player in the comp by an absolute country mile," Thorburn said.
"I've seen a lot of people play female sport and been involved in it in a coaching capacity for quite awhile ... she's by far and away the best female athlete I've seen play any sport really. She's naturally freakish.
"She did her ACL at training two weeks ago and is looking at surgery and the year off unfortunately. She'll coach with me, she's real smart so will have a lot to offer off the field as well."
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Hunt was not the only Mungal who impressed in the win over Lithgow. The coach said newcomer Ava Gerstel was a 'tagging machine', while Fallon Attwater and former CSU Yellow talents Brigit Hides-Pearson and Annalise Wilson impressed as well.
Given CSU Blue played the first 15 minutes of the match with only 10 players and had no substitutes for the remainder of the contest, it was a promising start
Meanwhile, defending premiers CSU Yellow went down 18-16 to Portland in their season-opener - Sarah Evans scoring three tries and booting two conversions. Georgia Woodhouse and Lilly Degotardi were solid too.