Pulling The Flag

Cougars: The Champions Mean Business

Headline image: Sarah Wakelin and Kellie Barrett on the charge, by Garry Charles.

The Coventry Cougars are at the front of the pack again after one round of the Opal Series. Neil Wymer caught up with Becca Haw to get her take on the day’s events.

Becca was part of the Cougars team that won the first ever Opal Series National Championship in 2013. So how did this year’s opener compare with last year’s events? Are the Cougars in a position to repeat?

Neil – You turned up for the first tournament feeling quite nervous. As last year’s champions, were you feeling the pressure?

Becca – Yeah, at first. We didn’t know what to expect. The standard of the teams was bound to be better. The teams this year have so much more experience.

becca tackle

Photo by Garry Charles

Neil – Compared with the first tournament from last year, how much higher was the level of play at this year’s opener?

Becca – The level was definitely higher. Last year, there were a lot of teams that were completely new to the sport. This year they have come back with more experience, bigger squads and familiarity of a higher level of the game.

Neil – The nerves must have disappeared pretty quickly as you got of to a solid start, and seemed to find your form early on. What makes the Cougars such a formidable opponent?

Becca – I guess it all comes down to experience. We have players that have been playing since they were 10 or 11 years of age. Knowing the ins and outs of what to do comes naturally. I guess that’s what it boils down to at the end of the day.

Cougars after their win in tournament one

Cougars after their win in tournament one

Neil – The draw for the opening round of fixtures separated you from last year’s finalist and local rival Warwick Wolverines, as well as tournament one’s impressive starters, the Northants Titans. You must be eager to match up against them in future tournaments?

Becca – Yeah, it would be good to play both of them. We have a long history with the Wolverines. The Titans are a relatively new team, we played them at the NuOla Summer Shield. They are both good teams and I think they would be an interesting games.

Neil – Every time I turned my head, it seemed both you and Hannah Pye of the Titans were making the endzone your home! Were you aware of the numbers that each of you were putting up out there today?

Becca – Sounds like you’re stirring something there? Haha. Honestly, she’s a really good player. I am aware of that! I just go out there on the pitch and do the best I can to help my team.

Photo by Rudi Halfmann

Neil – So now that the Cougars have started so well, do you think they can go on and defend the title?

Becca – All I can say is, we hope so! We still have a long way to go and teams to play. You never know what they’re capable of. All we can do is practice hard and play harder. Hopefully then we can retain the our title.

Neil – Thanks for interview Becca. Good luck in the rest of the tournaments!

Becca’s Stats from tournament one: 4 TD, 6XP, 1 Two-pointers, 1 INT

The second round of the Opal Series will see teams travel to both Manchester and Hertfordshire on November 8. For more details, see our PTF Events page.

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