Mounties hooker Keeley Davis says her team is doing their best to remain fit and focused for their Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership Grand Final against Central Coast Roosters at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday 24 July despite the obvious hurdles from the COVID-19 lockdown.
Mounties were scheduled to play Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks in the Semi-finals on Saturday July 17 but the move by the NSW Government to extend the Greater Sydney lockdown to July 16 over the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted another rejig of the finals format.
The decision to move straight to a Grand Final was made in consultation with the NRL to ensure the workload of women players is managed appropriately before the NRLW starts in late-August.
Minor Premiers Central Coast Roosters and Mounties have earned the right to fight it out for the 2021 trophy after boasting the best records in the competition this season. The Roosters have a perfect 11-0 record while Mounties weren’t far behind with a 10-1 win-loss ratio.
Making things for tough for Mounties is the fact they reside within the Greater Sydney region and are subject to the COVID-19 safe guidelines regarding exercise. That will become even harder following the announcement today that exercise groups have been reduced to two.
“We’re all on the same page with our training but it’s definitely making things hard, but we’re trying to get as prepared as we can,” Davis said.
The Roosters, while based in Newcastle outside the lockdown boundaries, have a number of players residing on the Central Coast which is under stay-at-home orders. So they too have had to juggle training programs.
“It’s obviously a bit of a disadvantage not to be able to train as normal but in saying that, when we do get back to training together we’ll be super-excited to be as one group again,” Davis said.
“We’ll do everything we can to be there or thereabouts on game day.”
Davis, who was the No.9 for the Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues in last month’s Ampol State of Origin 8-6 loss to Queensland, is a personal trainer by trade so has the gym equipment at the ready in her own backyard.
The groups of 10 comprised of the middles, the left edge and the right edge but now with Liverpool being labelled one of the high-risk areas for COVID-19 transmission, players have splintered off into more ‘geographical’ boundaries.
Those players from the Wollongong area, regardless of their position on the field, are training together, while those from Liverpool are doing more individual workouts.
“So, we’re out of our positional groups for the time being just to keep everything as safe as possible,” Davis said.
“We’re still getting in a lot of fitness work so that when we get back as a group it’s a matter of running through our plays and structures together.”