Womens Premier Division
First up was the women's squad coached by Tracey Kick. Coming into the match, the UNSW Bulldogs had underdog status with close losses to their opponents Macquarie University in their previous 3 encounters. Despite holding the Premiership title in 2016 and 2017, there had been considerable roster changes in 2018 with new players, new assistant coaches and indeed, a new uniform.
The UNSW/ES Bulldogs were fired up and switched on from the start. They scored 3 huge goals on in the opening term. Both sides played with intense physicality, and a string of injuries, including a chilling hip clash, had Bulldogs with only one substitute for the second half of the game. The damage had been done going into the third quarter as UNSW held a lead of 21 points. Macquarie fought valiantly, but UNSW maintained the pressure in defense and attack to finish the game with a final score of 45-22.
Captain and match MVP Sandra Jet was thrilled with the result and espoused total belief in her teammates: “The girls were 100% switched on from the start.” She has been with the club for seven years and is 1 of only 7 players who have won the “3-peat” Premiership titles in 2016, 2017 and now 2018.
UNSW Ben Lexcen Scholarship alumni and midfielder Claire McGarity emphasised the intense physicality of the match. “We were prepared for it and we were determined to finish the season with nothing left in the tank.” McGarity did it all again on Sunday with her hockey grand final.
The win was historical as the UNSW Womens side wore the blue and red bulldogs strip for the first time this season (having previously played in yellow and black as the stingrays). The commanding performance was a bittersweet swansong for club legends Roxy and Jemma, and fitting send-off for coach Tracey Kick who will move on from UNSW in 2019.