Frenchville's girls rugby league team into Cup decider
RUGBY LEAGUE: Coach Tracey Denning could not be prouder after the Frenchville State School girls rugby league team stormed into the state final of the Karyn Murphy Cup.
The decider for the inaugural statewide schoolgirls competition will be played in Redcliffe on August 23.
Frenchville's opponent is yet to be decided but Denning is confident her young charges will put in a strong showing as they continue to improve with every game.
"I think we've got a shot, absolutely. We've got the team that definitely could go through and win,” she said.
"The girls are very excited and it's a wonderful achievement to have come this far.”
Frenchville's success is even more impressive given that almost half of the team are new to rugby league.
They are, however, bolstered by a handful of experienced players, some of whom have been playing rep footy for Rockhampton for several years.
Frenchville booked its place in the 11 and 12 years grand final after winning at three levels of competition.
They went through the Rockhampton play-offs without conceding a try. From there they won the Capricornia final to advance to the North Queensland finals.
Denning said her girls came up against some very talented teams there but never took a backward step despite losing their first game to Kelso State School 12-10.
They reversed that result in their final game to be crowned the NQ champions.
"They were really, really impressive in Townsville,” Denning said.
"They were tough games up there so the girls had to dig deep and step up.
"It's been a steep learning curve but to see them play so well was great.”
Denning said teamwork was the key to Frenchville's impressive form and the more experienced players had embraced their roles as leaders, encouraging and supporting their teammates on and off the field.
"It's been wonderful for the girls to be involved in this inaugural competition and they've also had the opportunity to meet some of the Jillaroos.
"They've really enjoyed that and they've seen what's possible for them - that there is a clear pathway now for women in rugby league.”
Denning knows her girls will be ready and raring to go in the final.
"Whatever happens, I know they will give it all their all. I'm very proud of this team and the school's very proud of them,” she said.
"It's been a great experience for the girls and for me and anything from here is a bonus.”