CLOSE GAME: The Crushettes made it to the final in the Bluff Nines carnival, going down 10-6 to Emu Park.
CLOSE GAME: The Crushettes made it to the final in the Bluff Nines carnival, going down 10-6 to Emu Park. Matty Holdsworth

The Crushettes power ahead at Bluff Nines

THE Blackwater Crushettes are making a habit of finding success in the shortened format of rugby league after finishing runners-up in the Bluff Nines carnival.

The girls became the inaugural winners of the Central Highlands Gala Nines competition and impressed once again before losing in the final to a red hot Emu Park 10-6.

Significantly, the girls rid themselves of the monkey on their backs in the form of the Clermont Bears, a side they have never managed to beat.

"We kind of went into the carnival without great expectations, to see how well we could play in a few different positions," Denman said.

"Clermont were our bogey team and while we knew we could beat them, it hadn't come off for us yet.

"So we can take real confidence from the win, we know it's no guarantee but it's a good start to the season. The carnivals are always good hit-outs for a good gauge to see where we are at."

The Crushettes have been crippled by a large amount of player turnover in the off-season and had half their team playing their first ever game of rugby league.

Denman said it was great to see his debutants play so well.

"My team played really well, we actually had half the team playing their first ever game so it was pleasing to see the dynamic was the same," he said.

"Our structure was sound and there were only a few finer points where we need to pick up on.

"It is a true testament to our core bunch of players, it doesn't matter to Nines or 13s, they adapt and play to the best of their ability and get them across the line most of the time.

"Five-eighth Olivia Hamilton was a standout whenever she had the ball."


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