NSW team has true Blue style
NEW South Wales started its title defence with a convincing 5-0 win over ACT at the Australian under-21 women's hockey championships at Hepburn Park, Goonellabah.
Captain Abigail Wilson and Helena Tobbe scored two goals each with NSW aiming to win the national championship for a third straight year.
"First game of the tournament is a good chance to try a few things and work your way into it,” coach Blair Chalmers said.
"ACT brought a lot of energy to the game and it took us a while to capitalise on our opportunities.
"The trick is to try and stay patient. I think the girls tried to pull the trigger a little too early at times.
"I can't fault the enthusiasm and they're all excited and our strikers want to get on that scoreboard.”
Chalmers said his team had about nine players who were part of the NSW Institute of Sport.
He also has a leadership group which comprises Alice Arnott, Morgan Blamey, Emma Spinks and Wilson.
"They're our leaders because they're good on and off the field,” Chalmers said.
"We've got some good characters and the rest of the group follow them so it makes my job a lot easier.
"The majority of the girls come from country associations originally. The majority of them are playing in Sydney now.
"All lot of them started playing together when they were 12, at PSSA level, so they're a tight bunch.”
Far North Coast players Erin Lidbetter and Taquira McGrath are part of the NSW second team.
They had a tough start to the tournament with a 6-3 loss against Queensland.
India Draper scored two goals for NSW, while Dayle Dolkens finished with a hat-trick for Queensland.
In other games, Olivia Downes scored two goals for Victoria in a 3-1 win over Tasmania.
Competition resumes tomorrow, with the finals on Wednesday.