Country Rugby League Championships: Greater Northern set for Central Coast showdown

GROUP 19 REPS: Uralla's Camilla Clydsdale, Vicki Youman and Alyce Walsh, Inverell's Codie Ryan, Armidale's Kate McCulloch, Boomerangs' Jordan McKenzie, Tingha's Olivia Turner and 'Rangs Deborah McGrady.
GROUP 19 REPS: Uralla's Camilla Clydsdale, Vicki Youman and Alyce Walsh, Inverell's Codie Ryan, Armidale's Kate McCulloch, Boomerangs' Jordan McKenzie, Tingha's Olivia Turner and 'Rangs Deborah McGrady.

The Greater Northern Tigers league taggers will be aiming for redemption against the Central Coast this Saturday when they collide in Sawtell for the third round of the Country Championships. 

The Central Coast side eliminated the Greater Northern girls in the first two years of competition with a 14-11 win in the 2016 semi-final and a 22-10 triumph in round one last year. 

Tigers coach Mick Schmiedel said this year’s Greater Northern team is vastly different to previous outfits and believes the current squad can topple the Roosters. 

“This is only the third year they have been doing the ladies league tag so we are certainly looking to even the ledger up,” he said. 

“The girls have a lot different attitude this year, it is a lot different side to what we have had in the previous two years.

“It is a better balanced side, we are not relying on any one player to dictate and dominate the game for us. 

“Amy Barraclough controls the team quite well and the other girls let her do that. 

“They all have their own roles and they all play them very well.”

The Roosters are coming off a 20-6 win over Newcastle while the Tigers dominated Northern Rivers 22-nil in round one.

Schmiedel is expecting points to be kept at a minimum in the clash with defence being key to taking the win. 

“I keep stating to the girls 'it is not like a game of rugby league where a team can bully you down the paddock and run over you, it is league tag where if you miss a tag, they score,’” he said.

“We have really emphasised not missing and getting all our tags and we worked on that [Wednesday] night at training.

​“I am expecting this game to be a very low-scoring game. 

“I don't think there will be much in it.”

Throughout the Tigers’ Country Championship campgain, Group 19 and Moree Boomerangs player Jordan McKenzie as been a standout for Schmiedel. 

“Jordan McKenzie at the back was phenomenal in defence [against Northern Rivers],” he said.

“There's not too many who are going to get past her if they do break that front line. 

“I am very impressed with her at the moment.

“She has one of the best left-foot steps I have seen and a fair bit of pace to go with it so I am hoping to utilise that in and around the ruck.

“She is going to be one little standout on the weekend. 

“I think she has got untapped ability.”

Greater Northern Tigers team list to face Central Coast at Rex Hardaker Oval in Sawtell on Saturday. 

1. Jordan McKenzie (Moree Boomerangs)

2. Hope Martin (Dungowan)

3. Shae Pemberton (Muswellbrook)

4. Jess Baker (Kootingal-Moonbi)

5. Aylce Walsh (Uralla)

6. Amy Barraclough (North Tamworth)

7. Sofie Casson (Scone)

8. Jesse Brown (North Tamworth)

9. Codie Ryan (Inverell)

11. Vicki Youman (Uralla)

13. Bronte Harris (North Tamworth)

14. Kate McCulloch (Armidale)

15. Dayna Porter (Werris Creek)

18. Camilla Clydsdale (Uralla)

21. Deborah McGrady (Moree Boomerangs)

22. Olivia Turner (Tingha)

Coach: Mick Schmiedel & Damien Allan

Kick-off: 11am