Bulldogs' Cheyanne Hatch wins New Zealand Oztag tournament

INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS: Cheyanne Hatch (front row, second from left) and her open mixed Marcarthur Mustangs team. Image: supplied.
INTERNATIONAL SUCCESS: Cheyanne Hatch (front row, second from left) and her open mixed Marcarthur Mustangs team. Image: supplied.

MILTON-ULLADULLA Bulldogs star Cheyanne Hatch has proven her exploits on the football field aren’t just restricted to Group 7.

The three-time player of the year for Group 7 women’s league tag competition has just returned from New Zealand, where she helped the open mixed Marcarthur Mustangs win the 2017 Challenge Cup.

Played in Auckland, this was the first time that the 24-year-old has played with the Mustangs.

“The team was selected from the New South Wales State Cup which was in March the start of this year,” Hatch said.

“The top team in each age division that won were chosen to represent NSW and take on the top team in Queensland and the top teams from the South and North Islands of New Zealand.

“I was privileged enough to get a call up and join the open Mixed Marcarthur Mustangs team for the tournament.

“On top of that, the coach was Kane Rowley, who is also the Australian mixed coach and has been for many years, so it was a great honour to play for him.”

The coach was Kane Rowley, who is also the Australian mixed coach, so it was a great honour to play for him

Cheyanne Hatch

The Mustangs competed in games across three days, playing against teams from a number of divisions.

“We played Friday, Saturday and Sunday, taking on teams from Queensland and New Zealand not just in the opens mixed division but also under 20s and senior mixed,” Hatch said.

“This was awesome because we were able to play more games, against a greater variety of teams.

“After the early rounds, we really clicked into gear in the finals.

“In our semi-final, we defeated Auckland 18-nil – which was the best game we played all weekend.

“The grand final very close but we defated Counties Manukau, another New Zealand team, 7-5 – after they had been the only team that beat us in the round games.”

Hatch, a former Ulladulla High School student, thought she performed strongly in her first time representing the Mustangs.

“Considering I hadn’t played with a lot of the team before and we didn’t train leading up to the tournament, I think I played well and the team as a whole killed it,” she said.

As Hatch, the Bulldogs WLT skipper stated, the team dominated the tournament – a success that had been going for more than a decade.

“The Mustangs have won both the Australian Championships and NSW State Cups for the last 10 years, so I was stoked to get to join and be apart of such a successful team this year,” she said.

“Going into the tournament, I definitely felt pressured as the Mustangs are the bench mark – I had high expectations.

“But as soon as we flew over to New Zealand and I got there, everyone was so welcoming and positive on and off the field, which made a massive difference.

“I believe this is a big reason to why this Marcarthur Mustangs team have been so successful, for such a long time.”