Photo Credit: Madiryn Photography

Madison Watt’s long held dream to play in a women’s rugby side in Yass, finally became a reality this season.

“I actually played with the junior Rams right up until I was 13 and then I couldn’t play for a while.”

“My dad was a rugby player, my grandad was a rugby player, my mum played through school and my brother now plays for the juniors as well, so it’s a sport of a lot of passion in my family and when they announced the women’s team, I could’ve just burst.”

“I pushed for a women’s team as soon as I turned 17 and look where we are now,” she said.

Now 20, the Ewes centre has been one of the more consistent performers in the first half of their season, and she thinks her flexibility to play anywhere on the field, and communication are the things that best serve her team.

Her coach considers her to be a strong ball runner and so strong she often makes for a very handy diversion for the rest of her teammates.

“I’m a pretty solid ball runner as Stephen (Coach) says himself, and I think he kind of uses me sometimes as a diversion because people don’t like when I get the ball because I’m fast and I hit hard.”

“So we do a play where I don’t even receive the ball and I’m out the other side calling for it and the opposition follows me, causing gaps for the girls to go through,” she said.

Whilst Madison has been thrilled by the development of the overall team, she does see some areas for improvement in the second half of the year.

“Probably the big area for improvement is the way we’re tackling and getting down to the rucks as they’re breaking down.”

“Other than that we’re actually a really solid side and we play quite hard rugby, so a lot of teams have fast runners where we’re hitting hard and moving up fast.”

“We play old-fashioned rugby a lot of the time and teams don’t like when we’re getting there because they can’t move us and if we can get there more often and faster, the other team will have less ball possession,” she said.

According to Madison, Coach Stephen Crisp has been a brilliant inaugural coach for the Ewes and in particular with the girls especially early in their rugby careers.

“He’s been amazing.”

“A lot of the girls have never played rugby before and he’s taken the time to show them from the outset, show them the right way to tackle safely.”

“He’s been really supportive and corrects us whenever we need it, and these last couple of weeks he’s been more firm and there’s less messing around at training and it’s straight to the point, which is really good to see honestly,” she said.

Setting a goal for the Ewes moving forward, Madison hopes they can come together even more, and show the city teams what they’re made of.

“In the second half of the year I’d love to see how much more we can come together and play more as a team, rather than some people playing individually.”

“I’d like to see us push through and show the city teams that we are just as good as them.”

“Even though we’re a country team, we still have as much heart and chance as they do.”

As for the more long-term future of the Ewes, Madison would like to see the squad continue to grow and hopefully push for a 15’s side, sometime soon.

“At the moment we’re looking to get more girls so we could step up to 15’s next year, and that’s a goal of mine, because I think if we were in the 15’s we’d be a lot more aggressive of a team and they’d struggle to play against us.”

Max O’Driscoll