The Emu Park Emus are determined to go all the way in this year’s CQ Women’s competition after lifting the Highlands Hit Out Cup in Emerald at the weekend.
Following last year’s heartbreaking loss in the grand final to the Gladstone Wallabys, the Emus are hoping to bring the silverware back to the Capricorn Coast and have started this year’s season well, winning the Rocky Nines and Highlands Hit Out.
Defeating the Clermont Bears 16-4 in the final, the Emus started the Hit Out slowly with the Bears defeating the ‘Parkies’ in the first match, followed by a close 4-0 win over defending premiers Emerald Tigers and then an 8-0 win against the Blackwater Crushettes in their final pool game of the day.
Despite a tough match in the semi-final facing the Crushettes again, the Emus posted a 12-4 win and then went on to win the grand final comprehensively 16-4 against a battered and bruised but determined Clermont Bears side.
Speaking after the win, Emu Park Women’s coach Jason Field said it was a great opportunity to have a competitive run prior to the season to test the skill level of the team.
“It was a great opportunity see the girls have a hit out prior to the season and with a few girls unavailable due to injury, it was good to see some girls play in alternative positions to see where they are at in terms of fitness,” Field said.
Looking ahead to the upcoming season, Field believes there are a few things the Emus need to work on in the first few rounds of the Central Queensland season.
“We need to continue to work on our fitness and managing the ruck. Some girls are doing it really well, but others need to focus more on this part of their game.”
Emu Park coach Jason Field with Briana Shillingsworth
Emu Park’s Briana Shillingsworth was named player of the carnival showcasing her speed around the ruck and ability to break the defensive line leading to many of the Emu Park tries.
Other standout players included Emu Park’s Nicole Collins, Clermont’s Elle Waters, Blackwater’s Mariah Storch and Dysart’s Juanita McDonald.
The Hit Out was also a chance for Central Crows Emerging Women’s Program selectors to identify upcoming talent for the new program with plenty of experience on hand to help.
The Hit Out is set to return in 2018 bigger and better with the hope of more teams from across Queensland making the trip to Emerald for the weekend.
Full results of the 2017 Highlands Hit Out are available on the Central Highlands Rugby League website.