Combined Python-Eagles show positive signs ahead of round one

With lightning and thunder storms passing through Cowra half an hour away, the newly formed Cowra-Canowindra side had enough to deal with before their first trial match before confronting the elephant in the room. 

The new Canowindra-Cowra side put up an impressive display in their first trial match together, which was against this week's round one opponent, Orange City. Photo: Ben Rodin

The new Canowindra-Cowra side put up an impressive display in their first trial match together, which was against this week's round one opponent, Orange City. Photo: Ben Rodin

It was their first time playing together, a week out from the season proper, and for many, it was also the first time they had even met their new teammates. 

And then there was the unavoidable fact that the team they were playing on Friday night, Orange City, will also be their round one opponent away from home.

However, the signs couldn't have been more promising despite the match being called off late after extended verbal remonstrations.

The combined outfit raced out to a 15-0 start, making the most of their relative maturity and experience compared to the Orange City women's side, despite being somewhat tentative in moving the ball forward. 

The response from the Orange City outfit was almost as strong, with scores sitting at 3-2 by around the game's halfway mark. 

However, as the intensity of the contest started to climb, so too did exchanges between the players, with the contest called off as the Pythons-Eagles, were beginning to pull ahead, leaving the score at 34-17.

With prior experience as an Eagle, current Python captain-coach Ash McSpadden was pleased with how the match turned out, despite being called off early. 

"We had a blast... The game went really well," she said, adding that despite Canowindra's inexperience they were able to work easily with the more seasoned Cowra players. 

"Most of our girls have never really played before... So I was... really impressed with how everyone played... the basics worked really well.

"They've [Cowra] done a really good job taking inexperienced girls under their wing... We're really lucky to have them."

However, McSpadden did note that communication would have to improve, with tonight's training session crucial.

"We're going to have to work on our communication a bit more... just get all the girls to train together is a big thing," the experienced player said, with the credentialed Inge Visser helping to lead tonight's session. 

However, while frustrated at the game being called off early, she wanted to ensure this week's repeat clash - for premiership points, no less - would be free of any lingering animosity. 

"It just got a bit heated for a bit, and we're trying to promote women's rugby," McSpadden explained.

"We don't want to go into this week's game with bad blood... they're [Orange City] a lovely bunch of girls."

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