A BRILLIANT solo try from Olivia Flood was the highlight as CSU began its North Cup premiership defence with a 29-0 win over Narromine on Saturday.
Flood was a member of the squad which won last season's inaugural North Cup and she shapes as an important figure again in 2021.
Certainly her try against Narromine at Cale Oval caught the eye of new coach Peter Plunkett.
"The one Olivia Flood scored from the kick-off was outstanding. They kicked off, the ball bounced and she picked it up on the run, palmed off two players and she out ran their cover coming across to score it," Plunkett said.
While CSU is expected to be a force once more this season, Narromine has returned after sitting out 2020. Though the students held them scoreless, Plunkett feels the Gorillas will be a side to watch.
"Apparently they had a really bad week and they were almost going to call it, but they got a bunch of young girls playing with them to make up the numbers," he said.
"We went in there thinking it might be a bit easier than we anticipated, but wow. Like they had no reserves and obviously they hadn't trained much together and were a bit disjointed, but talk about their counter-rucking and their will to win the ball on the ground and take the ball off us.
"They dispossessed us six or seven times in one-on-ones, they were really hungry for the ball and made it really had for us, but in saying that, our girls played really, really well.
"We learned a lot from it, how desperate and hungry you have to be."
CSU scored twice in the opening quarter as they pushed out to a 12-0 lead and from there went on with the job, sealing the bonus-point victory with a fifth try on full-time.
New recruit Kelly Baker bagged a double, while Caitlin James and Olivia Jackson crossed as well. But Plunkett pointed out many of the tries were a result of his side stringing together multiple phases and building pressure.
"An inspirational try was the try Caitlin James scored close to the line, she ran straight over the defender and scored," he said.
"One thing we did really well was our back up, our back up in contact. A couple of our tries multiple hands were involved, we just kept popping the ball up, so the urgency was there."
That urgency was one of a number of promising signs.
"Our forward pack was just brilliant, every one of the new girls in the forward pack were just outstanding - especially Brodie Cvitanovic," Plunkett said.
"They just rolled it up and gave us good ball and then with the wizardry of Steph Doyle in the backs and Kelly Baker and the like, they played very, very well.
"It gave the new girls, especially the backs, a chance to play against a quite aggressive side - it was just good, hard football."
CSU 29 (Kelly Baker 2, Olivia Flood, Caitlin James, Olivia Jackson tries; Steph Doyle 2 conversions) defeated NARROMINE GORILLAS 0
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