Rebels league tag take some unlikely inspiration into semi
LADIES LEAGUE TAG: The Rebels have found themselves on the hard road to defending their Group 2 Ladies League Tag title, but that's not a big worry for the team, says captain coach Heidi Hardy.
While the Rebels find themselves in the sudden death minor semi-final against Coffs Comets today, they've got plenty of positives coming their way, Hardy said after training on Thursday.
"We're playing at home, which is a big plus for us and we're really motivated to win this one for Shelley Long, who found out this week she has been playing with a broken leg,” Hardy said.
Hardy said Long played in last week's disappointing loss to Sawtell and she was stunned to learn the true nature of her star fullback's injury.
"The poor girl, I can't believe she was actually able to play at all,” Hardy said.
"She's a rep player and big loss for us, but all the girls are super motivated to win this game for her.”
Long returned the favour for her teammates, sitting with her leg in a brace and nursing crutches on the sideline at training on Thursday night.
She didn't want to let on about her injury and was determined to give her teammates all the support she could.
Hardy said the team had a few surprises up its sleeve for the Comets.
"We've had to play a different style of footy this season, because we've lost a bit of speed out wide,” she said.
"So this season instead of going around teams, we've had to go through them. And we've handled the transition pretty well, I think.
"But teams might be getting used to our style, so for the finals we've worked on a few different things to mix things up.”
Hardy said last weekend's loss would also motivate the team.
"It's one that was actually really close and could have gone either way,” she said.
"We finished second on the competition, which shows we were consistent performers, particularly in the second half of the season.”