Queanbeyan Blues captain Sammie Wood is taking nothing for granted, despite seeing her side finish the regular season unbeaten with a 32-12 win over the Goulburn Stockmen in the Katrina Fanning Shield at Seiffert Oval.
“Regardless that we are unbeaten, the finals are always a clean sheet,” Wood said. “Goulburn really gave it to us tonight, our defence kind of lacked there for a bit so it’s given us something to work on between now and then.”
As her teammates posed for team photos after the match to celebrate their success, Wood quickly reminded her troops that they hadn’t won anything yet.
“I’m a bit superstitious,” Wood said. “There’s no celebrating until the job is done.”
The Blues were good value for their win as they raced to a big halftime lead on the back of tries to Paris Robinson, Remi Wilton, Regan Hart and Sammie Wood.
Cailah Welch opened the scoring for the Blues early in the second half but the Goulburn Stockmen fought their way back into the match as they showed the skill and grit which has seen them secure second place.
Having started the game with no players on the bench, the Goulburn were dealt a blow early in the second half when Kristen Williams left the field due to injury. Rather than deter the Stockmen, the blow galvanised them according to their five-eighth Pearl Rakete.
“Having less players makes us work more as a team,” Rakete said. “We’ve played with 13 the last two weeks, one week we played with ten because of injuries.”
The Stockmen managed two tries thanks to Rakete, who scored one try before setting by Jennaya Ottaway for another.
However, the Blues wrapped up the win as Keesha Kapea scored in the dying moments of the match.
In matches elsewhere, the Queanbeyan Kangaroos and Yass Magpies claimed wins over the Valley Dragons and West Belconnen Warriors respectively.
The finals for the Katrina Fanning Shield commence next weekend.
Photo taken by Ben Southall.