Waves women crash down on Brothers
LEAGUE: The Fish were left high and dry at the weekend after a The Waves women's rugby league team beat Past Brothers in their latest clash at Salter Oval in true underdog fashion.
The defending premier champions were outmatched for the first time in a long time on Saturday with The Waves washing over the scoreboard with a convincing 22-4 win over Brothers in the 2019 Bundaberg/Gladstone Intercity Women's Competition.
The last time the two Bundaberg sides took the field against one another
Waves coach Mandy Ohlbrecht said the girls did really well and while it wasn't a grand final, it was a "special game” for the players to have won on Saturday night.
Having been involved with the club for the past three years, Ohlbrecht said Brothers had always been the dominant team and for the "last 102 games been undefeated”.
"To them it meant a lot,” she said.
While the win may have come as a shock to some, Ohlbrecht knew The Waves' potential.
Ohlbrecht said throughout training she had been telling her team that they had the ability to be just as good as Brothers and now they'd started to believe her.
She said the trick to getting the upper hand over their local rivals in blue and white was to get back to basics rather than trying to pull off something that looked good.
Throughout the past six weeks Ohlbrecht said they had been doing a lot of defending and limited ball control, but by striping back to playing hard and basic football they were able to find the line - more than once.
Ohlbrecht said she had to get a little tougher and instil some discipline in the team's earlier days of the game, but the results had spoken for themselves.
And it's not just The Waves that have seen growth, she said the sport of women's rugby league was growing in Bundy.
Ohlbrecht said initially a lot of women may have been scared to join a team because it can be quite a brutal game, but with teams now having coaches, teaching the correct way to tackle and play the game, it was becoming more professional.
Ohlbrecht has played different sports and said since joining The Waves said she'd seen a great culture in rugby league.
She said it was a family-oriented club that she loved being a part of.
Brothers coach Robert McKeown said they had 10 wins in a row and after the recent loss it was time to get back to work.
"Sometimes when you're winning like that you hit a bit of a lull and take the foot off the gas, but I can say the loss has really hit home and that there's no time for complacency,” he said.
"Every team in the comp is out to beat us and this shows if the desire is there anyone can win on the day.
"So now we roll our sleeves up and get back to work.”
The next time The Waves women take the field they will be going up against Hervey Bay in the Bay at Stafford Park.
And Brothers are set to play Wallabies Women at Dennis Park.