An U9 all-girls team hailing from the St Clair Comets has got everyone talking this season – and there’s still one more chapter to be written.
The team, made up of 11 footy-loving girls, are headed to the Penrith and District Junior Rugby League Finals as Minor Premiers after blitzing the seven-team mixed competition they play in.
The Comets finished the regular season on top of the table with an 11-win, one draw and one loss record – a monumental achievement considering this group of girls are mostly coming up against players of the opposite sex.
According to their coach Jasmine Banks, the team, which was formed earlier this year, was supposed to play in an all-girls competition but were unable to due to lack of numbers.
“We were meant to play in an U9 girls competition but there wasn’t enough teams to make up the comp, so we entered into an U9’s mixed competition instead,” she told the Weekender.
“Three of the seven teams in the competition are all-girls, while the other four teams are mixed teams but mostly made up of boys.”
Making the Comets’ feats this season even more impressive is a third of the players in the team have never played rugby league until this season.
Not only do they dominate their opponents most weeks but, on one occasion this season, they mercy ruled a team after being up by a whopping 50 points.
Banks, who has a daughter named Hannah in the team, said she loves coaching the side and believes the secret to their success comes down to listening and having fun.
“The girls train hard, they known the rules, they listen, they are disciplined and they just know how to get the job done,” she said.
“It’s a lot of fun coaching them and I’ve already put in an application to go back next year. They all have fun together and support each other and that’s what I love the most.”
After finishing in first place after the regular season, St Clair will enjoy this weekend off as they wait to see who they play in the semi-finals.
A victory next weekend at Peppertree Sports Complex in Erskine Park will see them advance to their first-ever Grand Final.
“We have this weekend off and play next Saturday, August 12. If we win that game, we’ll go straight to the Grand Final,” Banks said.
“The girls have been resting this week, but we’ve still been training as well. We’ll monitor the scores on the weekend to see who we have to play and then ramp up our training to prepare for the big game.”
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.