CSU started the year with a North Cup squad that included 17 players that hadn't ever touched a football, but now the students find themselves one win away from premiership glory.
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In a testament to just how much difference hard work and persistence can make, the vastly improved CSU side posted a 28-17 win over Parkes in Saturday's preliminary final.
A group who in the main had never made a tackle in their lives, didn't know how to properly pass a ball or what pilfering was, now knows how to execute in defence an attack.
They are now preparing for a grand final against the Mudgee Wombats.
"I'll be honest I didn't think we'd make it this far, I thought there would have to be a lot of growth from a lot of people," CSU coach Marcus Burrell said.
"That's what I'm most proud of, the growth of each girl that has come on to the field and come on leaps and bounds in the game of rugby.
"I've always said to them, every single week, that they have to earn it. They definitely earned it on the weekend.
"From the start of the year I'm really proud to say that they've matured and developed into a great team, which is what you really want."
A week after suffering a 42-5 loss against minor premiers Mudgee in the major semi-final, CSU lifted for its preliminary clash with Parkes at Dubbo's Apex Oval.
CSU made a strong start to be first on the board and was looking comfortable until a player was shown a yellow card for an accidental hair-pull 10 minutes before half-time.
Parkes exploited its one-player advantage to get on the board before half-time then continued to pressure after the break.
"We got off the blocks quickly which is what we want, but we just seem to have that mid-game lapse every time," Burrell said.
"Parkes were strong and fought back through ... they ended the first half like gangbusters and they scored a try right on the bell.
"They came out a bit faster than we did in the second half and got over the top, but then we went back to our structure."
With around two minutes left on the clock and CSU clinging to a 21-17 advantage, the Boars had the ball and were threatening.
But CSU came up with a pilfer to stop the hosts, earned a couple of penalties to roll down field, then crossed for a fourth try which sealed the win.
"Lianna Wheatley, our number 10, who I've been try to get to play free flowing and eyes-up football all year, saw an opportunity and went for it and it finally paid off," Burrell said.
Wheatley, Georgia Skidmore, Maddie Reilly and Anna French were CSU's scorers.
Burrell is now hoping his squad can make another big improvement and upset Mudgee come this Saturday's grand final.
"They've got the wood over us at the moment, but as we've seen before in finals anything can happen," he said.
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