'It's massive': Emu Park women crowned Murri champions
RUGBY LEAGUE: Coach Jason Field says the future looks bright after the Emu Park women dominated at the recent Arthur Beetson Foundation Queensland Murri Carnival.
The team went through the four-day competition in Townsville undefeated, raising the trophy after scoring an 18-8 win over Flora Sandilands Memorial in the grand final.
Field said the Emu Girls impressed in what was just their second appearance at the NRL's flagship indigenous carnival.
"We were beaten in the grand final last year in our first time there and this year we went up and won it,” he said.
"We certainly had a strong side but I think being another year older and wiser certainly helped.
"Having been there last year, we also had a better understanding of the carnival format and were a little better prepared.
"We were pretty confident of at least making the final four but in the end we really proved to be the dominant team in the competition.”
The Emu Girls won their three round games to advance to the finals.
They blitzed the Cherbourg Hornets in the quarter-final before exacting some revenge in the semi against the Brisbane Natives, the team that beat them in the 2017 decider.
They then completed their mission, scoring four tries in the final to take the coveted title.
Star five-eighth Sarah Field was named Player of the Carnival.
Coach Field said she received good support from Layla Fauid up front, centre Trish Dougan and halfback Tashina Ketchup.
Schoolgirl Zeckeisha Oakley, well-known for her netball and AFL achievements, made an impression in her first rugby league carnival, capping a strong performance with a long-range try in the final.
Field said it was a great result for the team and it augured well for the club.
"It's massive to win this and for the girls to be crowned Murri champions is something special,” he said.
"If we can keep this team together, there's no reason it can't happen again.
"We're still a young side so we just need to keep building as a team.
"All the girls, even the ones who are new to the game, are really keen to keep going.
"We had really good numbers for the carnival and the camaraderie amongst the team was definitely one of the keys to our success in Townsville.”