AFTER not playing any rugby union for close to four months, Bomaderry product Harriet Elleman has been well and truly making up for lost time.
In September, Elleman guided Wagga Ag College to a women's 10s title, while also securing the Alicia Lucas Medal for Player of the Year.
Following this, the Nowra High School alumna was selected for the Brumbies Rugby City verse Country match, alongside Narrawallee's Grace Sullivan - who she played alongside in the Super W.
"The City vs Country game was very exciting, especially as it was the first time it had been played," Elleman said.
"To be selected based on a tough, shortened season was great and I was very proud to be part of a Country team alongside my Ag College teammate Meg Seis.
"Pulling on that Country jersey was special, as was the chance to play alongside new women and under different coaches.
"It was great to line-up Grace Sullivan again - she is an incredible teammate and I enjoy every minute of playing alongside her."
Unfortunately for the Shoalhaven duo, City won that clash 17-nil staged at Duntroon.
"It was a very wet and windy day full of thunder, so ball retention was key to winning the game," she said.
"Unfortunately, in a cleanout, I copped a knee to the forehead and split the skin seven minutes into the first half.
"I was stitched up on the sideline by the doctor and got three very big stitches and unfortunately didn't get a chance to return to the field."
Soon after, the 27-year-old was selected for in the ACT women's President's XV, pitting her against teams from Sydney and NSW Country in the inaugural Chikarovski Cup.
"This was an opportunity for us to play more representative rugby and have the spotlight on us during the quieter time of the year for women's rugby," Elleman said.
Elleman's side opened the four-team tournament with a loss to Sydney Blue 31-10 on November 7 before going down 41-5 to Sydney Gold the next day - with both matches played at the Southern Districts Rugby Club.
ACT's series was wrapped up with a 31-5 defeat to NSW Country in Bathurst on November 14.
"I was very happy with how I played - it was some of the best scrums of my season as well as a lot of defensive work," she said.
"There is always stuff to improve on, so that is my plan in the off-season to get stronger for contact and work on my line out throwing.
"My game fitness has certainly improved [over the past few months] and the ability to pick up set play on the run.
"We only had two weeks and four training sessions to prepare for these tournaments but everything we put into practice, we transferred onto the field, so we were happy as a team and looking forward to improving ahead of next year."
As Elleman touched on, she will now shift her attentions to her off-season training, ahead of her third Super W campaign with the ACT Brumbies.
"At this stage, I am unsure of the plans for 2021 other than training harder than ever over the Christmas period to put my hand up for selection for Super W 2021," the forward said.
"My 2020 season has been one of many ups and downs, from being selected in the starting XV for Super W for the first time, to winning the first women's premiership for Wagga Ag College and of course, navigating COVID isolation in between these competitions.
"I have focused a lot this year on conditioning and fitness and working on my mental health to ensure I am working at my best in all aspects of my life.
"2020 has been a strange year, to say the least, and I am fortunate I have had the opportunity to play some great rugby throughout."
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