On statistics alone, the Blackheath Blackcats women’s Aus Tag team didn’t have a good season. Played 17, won 0, points for 48, points against 760.
But statistics don’t tell the whole story, as team captain Katrina Harris explained.
“We are getting flogged each week but we have fun,” she said. “And we still turn up each week.”
This is only the second year the Blackcats have fielded a team in the competition and probably half the players were in their debut season, having never before thrown a football, said Harris. Aus Tag is a modified form of rugby league where the women make “tackles” by ripping off a Velcro tag each player wears attached to her shorts.
The Blackcats faced some lopsided scorelines through the season: 92-0, 72-4, 68-4. But by late in the winter they were showing great improvement. In round 15 Ellie Nankervis kicked the first successful conversion of the year and in their second-last match they scored a season-best three tries.
Anastasia Griggs was the team’s youngest member at 15 and wrote about her experience.
“When I started with the Blackcats girls team, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I’d been watching the team play the previous season and thought it would be a fun thing to do. After going to some of the balls and presentations that the team held I thought that the whole football club seemed like a fun and exciting group and that I wanted to be a part of this family of footy players.
“When I first put on that big bright pink football jersey I felt like I was pretty cool to be honest, and even though I probably wasn’t even close to being the best player on the team I still felt like I was part of the team.
“In our first game of the season we were all as nervous as each other, both the ones that had been playing since the previous year and the girls like me who had only started this season. Even though we’ve lost every game, the fact that we’ll still go into the dressing sheds with smiles on our faces and keen to play every day says something about our perseverance. We still try our hardest every week — even if our biggest achievement is just getting double digits on the score board.
“Hopefully if we keep going with this type of attitude we may win a game!”