After a resounding elimination final victory against the Mudgee Wombats, the CSU Bathurst women backed up their efforts with another dominant performance against the West Wyalong Redbacks, winning 42-7 against the West Wyalong Redbacks to earn themselves a preliminary final berth in the Westfund Ferguson Cup.
The Bathurst women never looked threatened at any stage during the match, which was held at the Cowra Rugby Grounds, controlling the front half with ease, while the halves and backs made the most of that dominance early, scoring at will during the first two quarters.
For West Wyalong's part, a difficult day with the referee was compounded by some errors and ill-discipline in the ruck, but to their credit, their determination was rewarded by some consolatory points in the last quarter.
CSU Bathurst's acting skipper and five eighth Bridie Gordon acknowledged while they were still taking it a week at a time, the fact the side is only one win away from a grand final appearance was also not lost on her team.
"[The dare to dream] is definitely creeping in there a little bit, I think all the girl's are getting a little bit excited," she explained.
"We had a bit of a dip towards the end of the season there, we lost a few games by 60-odd points; we're not really used to that.
"There's a little bit of a fire in our bellies, I think it's definitely a doable thing now, [and] we've knocked off a few of the good teams.
Gordon made special mention of the forwards, adding that their effort will be crucial for next week's match against the Orange Emus, in addition to other keys like patience and maintaining possession with the ball, as well as matching the fitness of the Emus' backs.
"When they [the forwards] are strong, us backs get to play with it, which is really nice, and they draw in a lot of the players, so we get a lot of room to play on the outside of the field, and we like doing that as well.
"We're going to have to turn around and do it again."
Meanwhile, on other side of things, West Wyalong's Renee Rossiter was quick to congratulate CSU on the win, saying they were too good on the day.
"They knew how we played our game and they knew they had fast backs, so they knew they had to send it to the backs," Rossiter explained.
"And they had a lot of players, and they were fit and young."
Nevertheless, she was proud her team's year, and their ability to dig deep and break even late, especially as an outfit from one of the smaller regional areas.
"We didn't put our heads down and we worked hard," she said.
"It's a credit to our coaches, Willy Dean and Tristan Buttenshaw, for the coaching and the commitment they've put in for us as well, and getting us all to training," adding that some Redbacks players travel around 70kms to get make their training sessions.
Nevertheless, while Rossiter knows if the club continues to focus on sticking to its focus points at training and improving its fitness it too could make a deeper run in next year's finals, she was eager to pay tribute to her peers taking part in the next fortnight of finals action.
"Good luck to all the girls going into the finals, and here's to women's rugby."
CSU Bathurst will take on the Orange Emus next weekend, at a to be confirmed location.
- CSU BATHURST 47 (India Allen, Nicole Kennedy, Laura Belfanti, Bridie Gordon, Jacinta Cooper, Nicole Kennedy, Minna Annand tries; Ashleigh Bridge 5, Stephanie Doyle conversion) def WEST WYALONG REDBACKS 7 (Kenesha Stevens try; Kenesha Stevens conversion)