A CHANGE of schedule for the State League Tag Championships from post-season to mid-season - it is something that Western skipper Mish Somers thinks could play a key role in ensuring the sport's survival.
(min cost $8)
Login or signup to continue reading
The Western Rams side that Somers was named to captain was to make its first appearance at the state titles in three years last weekend in Tuggerah, but heavy rain denied them the chance.
While she's now waiting to see if plans to reschedule to later this year come to fruition, Somers has voiced her opinion that the state titles need to be conducted much earlier.
She thinks that is the only way to ensure the best possible Western side can compete for a New South Wales title and that representative tag becomes a bigger priority for players.
"It's been a couple of years since we last played and I think it's a really good concept, it gives the girls something to strive for, not just playing for your local club. It gives that bit of representative integrity to the sport too," Somers said.
"It gives us something else to play for and playing at that next level is always going to improve your skills, you get to meet new people and build new relationships as well.
"But I think it's something that probably needs to be done throughout the season rather than the end to create more interest and make sure you have your best team on the paddock every week.
"Playing those rep games is exciting, and for myself, I probably don't have too many more left in the 'ole body, but it's good fun and I think they need to push for it to keep interest in the sport."
The Group 10 league tag grand final was played on August 27, but for the sides that did not qualify for the finals series it was August 6 when they last laced up the boots.
That is a two-month gap between the end of the season and the state titles.
It was the same scenario for Group 11 and Woodbridge Cup, while the Castlereagh decider was on September 17.
"We finished at the end of August, but some teams would've finished at the start of August and to be turning around and playing in October, it's a big commitment from those girls," Somers said.
"A lot of people are into summer sports or people do miss out because they miss other representative games at the end of the season as well.
"So hopefully they can get back to playing it in the middle of the season rather than the end just so that all the strongest girls are there for selection on the day and we can take the strongest Western team possible away to these competition."
As for this year's state titles, following the wash-out officials said the plan is to now run a "localised one-day event between three or four divisions."
There is the possibility a Central West venue could host one of those localised events and Somers hopes that will be the case.
But she also questions how strong the Western side which could assemble to play would be. Many tag stars now have other sports commitments.
"That would be unreal to have it in the Central West, to have a bit of a home crowd and not have to travel so far like you often have to for those representative games would be awesome. For the town that might be lucky enough to get it, it would bring money into their community," Somers said.
"So fingers crossed we can get a game out this way and get big crowd to support us. If we could get a few groups playing out this way, it would be nice to see that sort of talent on display in the Central West.
"I don't know where they're going to find a weekend and we've got a lot of girls playing in the [spring] tackle comp and then the junior rep touch and senor rep touch season is about to start too, that will take up a few weekends. It means you're probably not going to have players.
"I guess we'll see what happens."
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.