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BMD Premiership Round 2 preview

Round 2 of the 2023 BMD Premiership brings with it a chance for redemption.

The opening round of the women’s competition saw four teams walk away victorious, all with pretty convincing wins by the time the fulltime hooter rang.

But those that didn’t get the two points have plenty to take from Round 1 and a chance to put themselves right back in the mix on the winner’s board this weekend.

Wynnum Manly Seagulls are on the hunt for their first victory of the year when they come up against Souths Logan at Logan Metro Football Fields on Saturday.

Wynnum Manly struggled to find their feet in their opening match against Mackay Cutters last Saturday while the Souths Logan Magpies earned a 12-point win - the closest game of the round - over the Brisbane Tigers.

The Tweed Seagulls are also chasing their first victory this weekend, when they become the next team to line up against a strong Mackay Cutters outfit.

Tweed will travel to Mackay for the occasion - their second week on the road - following their Round 1 loss to a dominant Central Queensland Capras.

For Brisbane Tigers and Norths Devils however, both teams recorded a loss to start the 2023 season and will now meet on Saturday at Totally Workwear Stadium, keen to get themselves on the ladder.

Norths are headlined by the likes of Ali Brigginshaw, Shenae Ciesiolka and skipper Jada Ferguson.

The Tigers however do not have many big-name signings or NRLW star power.

But what skipper Narikah Orchard does know is that her team has plenty of heart.

While they may not boast some of the names that other sides have among their squads, the Tigers have plenty of talent, ranging from prop Orchard through to Jamie-Lee Lewis in the halves and versatile Kelsey Parkin on the bench.

And Orchard, who was named the Tigers’ player of the year in 2022, said they are just like any other team in the BMD Premiership, and despite their Round 1 loss, they have lofty ambitions for this season.

“I’d like to get a BMD Premiership with the girls,” she said.

“We worked really hard in the pre-season... I think we deserve it. We played really well together last year but just couldn’t get us across the line, which was a bit disheartening.

“But I know we all have that drive, we all want to win, we all want to come back bigger and better… we all have that fire.

“Hopefully we come away with the win this year. We just have to take it game by game and do our best each week.”

Orchard also has a number of personal goals after her debut BMD Premiership season last year.

Narikah Orchard at Brisbane Tigers training. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL
Narikah Orchard at Brisbane Tigers training. Photo: Rikki-Lee Arnold/QRL

The 27-year-old dabbled in the game as she grew up, playing for the first time at a Murri Carnival in a memorial side for her aunty.

In 2021 she then joined the Ormeau Shearers in the SEQ competition before deciding to come and trial for the BMD Premiership ahead of the 2022 season.

“I came to the trial day they had on the back fields and I guess (coach Adrian Vowles) and everyone saw something in me that I didn’t really see in myself,” she said.

“That was pretty good. To then make the side each week, that was a massive privilege that I’m extremely grateful for. I finished the season pretty good.

“Player of the year was a bit of a shock. I still pinch myself whenever someone brings it up. I wasn’t expecting but I’m incredibly grateful for the club, all the girls and the coaches.

“I wouldn’t be the player I am, or the person I am, if it wasn’t for all of them and having them all around me. I’m really grateful.”

With one successful season already under her belt – which ended with a fractured eye socket in the southeast women’s competition post-BMD Premiership - Orchard is building into 2023 with a desire to go to the next level.

While her main focus is on the Tigers and what they’re trying to achieve as a collective, she said a lot of players this year are aware of the expanding NRLW and the opportunities that may lie ahead.

“I think a lot of the girls would have their eyes on NRLW,” she said.

“It’s not too far out of reach. There’s definitely a lot of talent in our team and in our comp.

“With more teams coming into the NRLW, hopefully a lot of us get that opportunity. If it happens, it happens. It would be great. But I’m focused on Tigers for the moment.”

Elsewhere in Round 2 of the BMD Premiership, two Round 1 winners will meet when Burleigh Bears play host to the Central Queensland Capras at UAA Park in the opening match of the round on Saturday.

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