SUNDAY will mark the fourth straight Group 7 women’s league tag decider the Milton-Ulladulla Bulldogs have played in – when they take on the Kiama Knights.
Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they have only one premiership, against Kiama, during that time, before losing the last two to Kiama and Jamberoo respectively.
Team captain and three-time Group 7 WLT player of the year Cheyanne Hatch know her team are better prepared this season then they have been in previous ones.
“I believe our team is better placed to win than previous years due to losing matches throughout the season,” Hatch said.
“In previous years, we didn’t know how to come back or lift our heads after being behind, which was the case in the grand final - as we hadn’t been put in that position during the season.
“This year we have been able to lift our heads and come back in games, so I think that’ll be the difference for us on Sunday.”
The Bulldogs qualified for the decider after defeating the Stingrays of Shellharbour 20-18 at Kevin Walsh Oval two weeks ago – allowing the team to freshen up ahead of the decider.
“Luckily 10 of our girls this year are locals from Mollymook, so they have been training together at least once a week in preparation,” Hatch said.
“We had a full team run on the weekend, playing an actual game against some of our Bulldogs boys, which was good.
“This is definitely a better preparation compared to previous years due to our local girls being able to get a mid night training session in.”
Despite Kiama being the Bulldogs so-called ‘bogey-side’, Hatch believes that 2017 is their season.
“The key to beating Kiama is marking their key players in defence,” she said.
“Hopefully we can force them into some errors and put pressure on them, as that is what they did to us in the 2015 grand final – now its our turn to turn the tables and mentally be in the game come Sunday.
“If us girls can stay calm and play our natural game, then we can come out on top.”
On the other side of the ledger, Kiama’s Krisit Pan, who has played more than 100 games for the club, knows that there is very little between the two sides – as shown by the pair splitting the two regular season games 1-all.
“Milton are a tough team, with so many weapons all over the park – they’ve got key players everywhere,” Pan said.
“So it’s up to us to come out from the start, have confidence in our own ability and be aggressive.”
Pan highlighted the more experienced girls in her side, such as Rachel Condran, Alana Glasson and Tyler Finn, expecting them to lead from the front in Sunday’s decider.