League: After accruing over 100 points in the first four matches of the year, without a single point in response from the opposition, the Yass Magpies Women’s Open Tackle team came crashing down to earth two weeks ago against the Tuggeranong Buffaloes.
The Buffaloes bested the Magpies in a tight 22-16 encounter, shocking Yass who, after an impeccable start to the season, were heavy favourites.
However, coaches Jesse Collins and Steven Greenwood both agree that the loss was a necessary learning curve for the team.
“I wasn’t disappointed,” Greenwood said. “It’s just something to learn from.
“Most of these new girls haven’t played with each other much.”
Collins believes that the loss was in part due to a perfect storm of poor fortune which saw the team only field 13 players on the night of the match.
“It was a little bit of mixed preparation,” Collins said. “I was a little bit late to the game myself, which isn’t very good on my behalf.”
“We had a couple unavailable, we had a couple of injuries, and it just stacked on,” Greenwood said.
According to Collins, the team was somewhat downbeat due to the whittled numbers, but he was proud of the way that they rallied and clawed their way back into the game.
“I felt like they were a little bit beat before they went out … but they fought really well.
“They started a little bit lackluster but then once I got the message out to them that they needed to lift the effort and work harder in the middle, they started to lift their energy.”
In this Friday’s fixture against Queanbeyan United, Collins is sure that the team can reaffirm their position as top-spot contenders.
The challenge, he says, will be to restrict Queanbeyan’s superior scoring ability.
“We haven’t actually scored many points compared to the other team who’s leading the comp [Queanbeyan] … but we’ve only had those  points that were scored against us last week. That was our first points scored against us all year, and that was only with 13 players.
“I think the result, myself, would have been different if we had our full quota [of players]”.
With the results that they had enjoyed before their most recent clash, it can be argued that the Magpies are the best defensive team in the competition.
The key, according to Collins, is maximising the team’s offensive potential to create a truly formidable prospect for the rest of the league.
With five wins, no losses, and exactly 200 points scored so far in the season, Queanbeyan do pose a significant obstacle.
“The girls are gonna be going into a dogfight [against Queanbeyan],” Collins said. “They’re going to have to be very aggressive in the first ten minutes.”
“[Queanbeyan] are going to be tough, they’re a good caliber side and I think they’ll throw a bit more structure at us compared to what we have seen in the comp.
“So it’s our job to be prepared for that I guess.”
The Yass Magpies will take on Queanbeyan United on Friday night at Walker Park. The match will start at 7pm.