Merriwa Magpies' Jessyca Morgan scoops the pool for Greater Northern Tigers' women's tackle team

Group 21 president Simon Walmsley and coach Mick Schmiedel (right) with Greater Northern Tigers Jessyca Morgan, who picked up the players player and representative player awards.
Group 21 president Simon Walmsley and coach Mick Schmiedel (right) with Greater Northern Tigers Jessyca Morgan, who picked up the players player and representative player awards.

JESSYCA Morgan and Taneika Landsborough received deserving honours when the Greater Northern Tigers women's tackle side celebrated its first representative season at the North Tamworth Bowling Club.

Former Northern Division (now Greater Northern) hooker Mick Schmiedel coached the Tiger girls in their baptismal year.

They played two games, losing to North Coast in their first and then beating Northern Rivers Titans in Armidale.

It was a steep learning curve in the infancy of ladies league tackle, said Schmiedel.

"I have to admit we were underdone for the first game and didn't know what to expect," he added.

"They did come out in the second game against Northern Rivers and had a good win."

Merriwa's Morgan won the two major awards.

She claimed players' player as well as the representative player plaudit as awarded by coach Schmiedel and the Greater Northern officials.

For the 28-year-old pre-school teacher, it was a nice reward for playing a game she loves.

"Been playing since I was five," she said at the recent Greater Northern Ladies League Tag Championships when part of the Group 21 squad.

Her Hunter Valley side lost both its games, 18-10 to Group 19 and 12-0 to winners Group 4.

"I love the tackle," Morgan said of the heavy body contact game.

"Played with the boys all the way through the junior age groups.

"Love it, it's 10 times better than playing league tag."

Schmiedel said Morgan deserved the recognition after two huge performances.

"She won our players' player award in one game and Taylah Blackadder the other," he added.

"Jessyca did a mountain of work in the front-row in both matches."

Landsborough is 10 years Morgan's junior and, until 2019, had not played tackle.

She was named the GN Tigers' inaugural Rookie of the Year.

"I really enjoyed it," the slightly and lightly-built young flyer from Armidale said.

"I'd only played a few 9's games before this year.

"I did enjoy it more than league tag."

The humble and happy teenager has a few goals for her tackle league but was reticent to say, although she eventually confessed she wants "to take it as far as I can".

That could mean moving to Sydney and trying out with one of the big clubs playing in the NRL competition.

Schmiedel said Landsborough oozes natural ability and could be a real star in tackle.

"For a girl who turned 18 during the championships, she was outstanding," he stated.

"Her ability to read the game was great.

"Her attack and defence was outstanding."