2023 Over 35's
Championship summary and fixtures
Dates:1st - 6th May 2023
Player's Player:Ian McHugh
Coming into the competition, New Zealand were probably favoured to win, given their greater experience and considerably more time spent together as a team. However their preparation was hindered one day prior to the competition when one of their key players sustained a broken arm during their final training match. Conversely, Australia came in on the back of just three training sessions immediately prior to the competition.
Australia started match 1 the better of the two teams but their lack of cohesion and an inability to respond under pressure resulted in a come-from-behind win for New Zealand. There was a lot of soul searching done on the rest day. A video review session resulted in most of the team looking at their shoes and looking inward to review their own performance.
Match 2 saw Australia respond to their poor showing in the first match, rebounding well to take a tight match, 2-1, and sending the competition to the decider.
The final match was also the final match of the Trans-Tasman competition, so was played in front of a decent crowd. New Zealand were robust in their tackling, and Ian McHugh spent most of the 2nd quarter on the bench being treated for a head knock and having a gash to his head stitched. Leading 3-0, Australia again wilted under sustained pressure from New Zealand, conceding two second half goals but defended resolutely to earn a 3-2 win and claim the 2023 Trans-Tasman medal.
Congratulations to the team on a fantastic tournament!