Altona Roosters Women's Finals Preview
Boasting one of the younger squads in the Storm Premiership Finals Series, the Altona Roosters have a chance to lock up a spot in the Grand Final this Saturday.
With their Under 15 and Under 17 girls also taking part in the finals, it's this large pool of talented juniors coming through the grades that has played a large role in the success of the women's first grade.
The Roosters finished in second place on the Storm Premiership ladder, notching 8 wins for the season.
As a result they'll face the Werribee Bears this Saturday, a side that has pipped them by less than six points in their previous two meetings.
Given the tight nature of this year's competition, co-captains Cindy Dennis and Tasheena Taumoa are coming into the clash with plenty of confidence that their side they can knock off the first placed Bears.
"For us as a squad, we aren't nervous but more hungry and keen to get into it this weekend," they said.
"It's about trusting our teamwork, trusting each other on the field and build off what we've built throughout the year."
"All teams are pretty even, so it'll come down to what team wants it more and they'll be the one that takes it out at the end of the day."
Both captains credited the courage and ability their younger squad members have shown throughout the season.
"I think that it's been good to showcase our growth and development that we have had at the Roosters in recent years and to see our juniors come through to the senior level, I think it's a masssive achievement for the club," they said.
"We have those older and experienced players that can help guide them through the season to ensure they can get the most out of their time in the squad."
"It's been great to see their development and their confidence grow from the beginning of the season where they probably were feeling a bit intimated coming into the women's league and playing against older women."
Dennis and Taumoa said it was important for the younger players to back their ability in order to showcase the talent that got them picked for the first grade side in the first place.
"It's been about getting them to use their own experience that a lot of them have coming through the Victorian rugby league system," they said.
"They just needed to back themselves and trust their development and skill-work and that way they can showcase that on the field."
"I think it's important for us to show some leadership and get around them, as well help them get that sense of understanding that this is finals now and we need to step up."
Heading into this Saturday's Qualifying Final, the Roosters are looking to remain focused and put their best foot forward, in order to give themselves the best chance of taking out the title.
"This week at training it's all about refining the small mistakes and errors that we want to work on," the co-captains said.
"We are really proud of each other and the team's small achievements that we've reached this year and we are just excited to get out there as a team on the weekend."
"We've put in the hard yards and hopefully we can take it out but otherwise may the best team win."