By Colleen Edwards
A new powerhouse in women’s rugby league is set to be crowned this weekend with two regional teams vying for the BMD Premiership title.
The Central Queensland Capras and North Queensland Gold Stars have faced similar challenges over the season, with both clubs having to train as ‘satellite’ clubs, often not being able to have a full team run-through until game day.
However, that hasn’t stopped them from performing well on the field, with the Capras taking out the minor premiership and the Gold Stars peaking at the right time, putting in a powerful performance to take down perennial heavyweights Burleigh Bears in their semi-final.
It will be an interesting match-up, with the Gold Stars keen to turn around the result from the last time the two sides met in Round 5, where the Capras overcame an 8-4 half-time deficit to post a 16-8 win at BB Print Stadium.
For Capras captain Mariah Storch – who has premiership experience with the Brisbane Broncos NRLW side, nothing beats the feeling of being in a grand final.
“I have played in two NRLW grand finals and you never get tired of grand finals, Saturday is another one I want to win, I have to win,” Storch said.
“The Stars have a great middle, so my job on Saturday is to make sure that they don’t come through the middle.
“Grand finals are special; it’s the Capras first one and we want to make history.
“I will be doing my best to make sure we win on Saturday.
“The Bears couldn’t hold the Stars in the middle and they may have scored some tries, but it was on the back of a great middle third in defence and attack.
“You have to win the first 20 in grand finals, if you’re chasing points at the end you’re in trouble.”
Their opponents North Queensland Gold Stars have performed well over the entire season and captain Romy Teitzel was proud of the way her side had competed, but knew they’d have to step up again to another level against the Capras.
“We have built a lot this year and grown a little bit over the year, the team is built on a lot of local talent and the girls are working together to build strong relationships,” Teitzel said following their semi-final win.
“It came down to completing sets and playing our own footy, slowing the game down and being in control and I think we did that really well in the first half
“Our goal was to come out strong… just our defensive efforts were lacking a bit in the back end of that second half.
“Into next week, we need to play the full 70 minutes of footy.”
Halfback Tahluhlah Tillett was on song in the semi-final and while she was “excited to be going to the grand final”, she echoed the thoughts of her skipper on areas her team would need to improve.
“We got off to a good, fast, start there in the first half … (and in the) second half we came out firing, but we sort of fell away there in the middle,” Tillett said.
“Something we need to work on for next week so we are playing the full 70 minutes.
“Our biggest thing will be holding the ball and our defence, if we can make sure we can do that, we can get over the top of the Capras.
“Last time we versed them in the round games it was a pretty tight game, so hoping it’s going to be a very good game.”
The grand final will kick off at 2pm at Moreton Daily Stadium and fans that are unable to be there in person can catch the broadcast of the game via QPlus.tv and on Kayo Freebies.