IT might not happen this season, but Muswellbrook is one step closer to dominating the junior competitions in the Central Coast Hunter Women’s CRL 9s.
With a solitary weekend remaining in the 2018 format, the young Rams head to Wyong on Saturday with the under-14s facing Terrigal in the Maroon division and the under-16s tackling Kincumber White.
And, while the Al Baker-coached 14s – in fifth spot on the back of five victories – are playing for pride, the Caitlin Albury-mentored 16s – locked in the top two – have a genuine shot at the title.
“If we win, we’ll move into the grand final against either Kurri or West Newcastle later in the day,” she said.
“That would be a great effort.
“Even though a number of the girls represented Group 21 last year [in this competition], this is the first time the Rams have fielded their own stand-alone sides.
“It really highlights the strength of women’s rugby league in the country.
“We’ve got players from Aberdeen, Denman, Muswellbrook, Singleton and Scone in each age group.
“So, I hope it continues to grow, too.”
Albury, herself, is a member of the Greta Branxton Colts in the Hunter Valley Group 21 Women’s 9s – and a terrific role model for the gifted youngsters.
She believes, due to the increasing popularity of the sport, the girls now have something to play for.
“The women’s game is getting noticed more and more [these days], right up to the NRL,” Albury said.
“That can only be a good thing for everyone.
“There are a few girls in my team who I’m expecting to go onto bigger things.”
But, for now, all the attention is focused on the clash with Kincumber White.
“We’ve only lost two matches so far, however I’m quietly confident,” Albury said.
“It’s not easy though – we have to travel greater distances than the other sides; they won’t come up here.
“We’re fairly new to tackle footy, too, so it’s still a learning curve.
“Winning the premiership would mean a lot to the girls.
“It’d be a good reward for their hard work.”
Aberdeen, currently placed eighth on the ladder, is also contesting the under-12s.