By Kristina Rosengren
In a classic underdog tale, the CSU Custards have booked themselves a spot in the grand final of the West Fund Ferguson Cup, after upsetting West Wyalong 35-14 in Parkes last Saturday.
The Custards have now proven themselves against every team in the competition, with West Wyalong the only side to defeat them this season, when they were pummelled 69-5 in round three.
But with this latest win, the CSU side have extended their winning streak to 11 games and proven that all it takes is passion and commitment.
Remarkably, most of the girls in the team had never played competitive rugby before, which makes it all the more impressive to see them defeat teams with years of experience.
Not to mention they are a relatively young squad, as it is the first women’s side the CSU Mitchell rugby club has had in at least five years.
The Custards only came into being this year, after a CSU women’s side competed in the second annual Blue Mountains and Greater West Rugby Sevens carnival in December last year, which ignited a passion for the sport in players and drove them to form a team of their own.
23 girls initially put up their hand up to join the inaugural squad, cementing their place in what had been a male traditionally male orientated club.
“When it’s been such a male dominated sport, it’s very intimidating for the girls to come in. Especially a club like CSU, where there is only first and second grade, so it’s a tight bunch of guys who have been playing with each other for two or three years,” said Custards coach Dominic Huggett.
But Coach Huggett claimed the men’s side have come out in full support of the Custards, which he believes has made all the difference in their confidence on field.
“When the boys are out there cheering for the girls, they play twenty times better,” he said.
“We’re one big family, we’re all friends…the boys have really gotten around us. You have a few girls put on a few big hits and you can hear the boys on the sideline, cheering us on or telling us what to do and it’s awesome, because you know you’re actually playing for a club,” said captain Bridie Gordon.
It’s that support the team will likely draw upon, as they head into the Grand Final in Orange on August 25th.
Kristina Rosengren interviewed coach Dom Huggett, following their success against West Wyalong in Parkes on Saturday.