McAuley White handle the heat in grand final replay
HOCKEY WOMEN: DESPITE the hot playing conditions, McAuley White got their title defence off to the perfect start with a 2-0 win against last year's grand final opponents Grafton High Blue.
McAuley captain Angie Day said the close win was a good way to start the season.
"I think the heat slowed everyone down by the end of the game, considering out fitness levels at the start of the season will take a little while to improve," she said.
"Our passing game got a lot better as the game went on, which saved some energy and definitely helped."
Day said the game highlighted a few areas the team needed to work on in the coming weeks of the competition.
"We need to work on our fitness for starters, it takes a bit of time to build up," she said.
"We've got a few new players joining the team this year, so we're still working on gelling as a team and working on our passing game and keeping possession of the ball."
Day said it was a tremendous effort from some of the McAuley players to back up for the top grade fixture after playing a full game in the lower grades to fill in for players who were out through injuries and representative duties.
Day said she thinks Grafton High Blue will be the team to beat this season after their tough first round match.
"They've picked up a few players in the off-season, which has made them a stronger team than last year, and their best player was out too, which was good for us," she said.
Day said it will be a tough ask for her team to defend their title, but is up for the challenge.