United effort seals grand final spot for spirited women
FOR a group of footballers who came together at short notice, the Norths Tigers Ipswich Open women's side have become a mighty force.
Their impressive 32-6 semi-final victory over the Redlands Parrots was proof enough.
But it was also the team's seventh consecutive win in the SEQW Green Division 2 competition.
The Norths Tigers Ipswich Open combination qualified for next weekend's grand final at Bishop Park after turning a 16-6 halftime lead into a show of second half strength and skill at the North Ipswich Reserve.
At a time when regional women's football is important to support the NRLW competition, coach Troy Baartz was delighted to coach, especially after watching such a spirited semi-final performance.
"It's enjoyable,'' he said. "It the development because it's all going ahead - the ladies and the girls games.''
Due to the coronavirus, the Norths Tigers Ipswich Open side was the only women's representative team committing to this season's matches.
The side featured a number of local players keen to build on past seasons.
"It's a good mix,'' Baartz said.
"COVID put a hold to it and then we got a sprinkling of all the clubs - Brothers, Goodna and ourselves.
"We gelled together really well.''
The Norths Tigers Ipswich side finished the regular season in second place.
As the players and supporters enjoyed a rousing post-game celebration, Baatz was mindful of what the united effort achieved.
Clubs like Norths are also keen to develop their under-14 and under-16 talent, needing a pathway to higher level women's footy.
"Each year we have A-Grade come along the young'uns are coming through,'' said Baatz, who previously coached a Tigers under-14 side.
In the semi-final, the Norths Ipswich players tackled their hearts out in the second half to ensure the Parrots had nothing more to chirp about.
The home side's late flurry of tries highlighted their power with the ball.
Luisa Vaa barged through the middle to score under the posts before Kendelle Satour rammed home the advantage scoring with three minutes left.
Tessa Vaoga added the icing as the hooter sounded, crashing over close to the uprights.
The team captained by Elizabeth Faamita sealed their semi-final success in style.
"They done well, considering the heat too,'' Baartz said.
"It was a very strong finish.''