There is no giggling, no complaining, and no slacking off.
As soon as their coach speaks, every member of the Hunter Valley Group 21 U14’s women’s rugby league side complies. Otherwise they are subjected to some dreaded extra sprint training.
Watching on it’s hard to comprehend that this well-drilled and disciplined outfit only came together to play in the six week Central Coast Hunter Women's CRL November Nines competition.
Testament to their ability and willingness to embrace the full contact nature of the game, the relatively inexperienced side has secured a semi-final berth regardless of the how they go in the final round this weekend.
Their coach, Country forward but unfortunately injured Phoebe Desmond, says this Saturday will be a challenge as they are facing the two top sides.
“We are up against Raymond Terrace 1 and South Lakes Roosters at Berkeley Vale,” she says.
“But even if we go down we will still finish in the top four and play in the semi’s next week.”
Desmond says she has been impressed with how her charges have handled themselves.
“I was a bit apprehensive about how they would handle a big hit – would they get back up again?” she explains.
Desmond wasn’t quite sure if it would spark the necessary fire in their belly to drive them forward, or if it would stop them in their tracks?
As it turns out she had nothing to worry about as this is exactly what the girls are enjoying the most.
“I love tackling,” says centre, Ellie Ferrands.
“You just have to be prepared to get a few bruises and tag marks.”
And, if so it is an exciting game to play.
“It’s better than league tag,” she says.
Forward, Tiarna West, agrees and says she has grown up playing back yard footy with her three brothers.
Adding to their enthusiasm is the news the NRL has finally committed to moving the women’s game forward.
The new program includes: the launch of a national elite women's rugby league competition in 2018, a stand-alone State of Origin match and initially, 40 Jillaroo’s being offered contracts.
U14’s Group 21: Ashley Halliwell, Alexandria Crompton, Shauna Pritchard, Matilda Jones, Tiarna West(Singleton) , Georgia Smith, Tamsin Gough, Chelsea Johns, Isla Johnston, Elizabeth Ferries, Ellie Farrands (Branxton), Sophie Clancy (Singleton), Tenahya Dennis, Jemma Grady, Alissa Maytom (Singleton), Evie Jones, Kyah Johnston.