WA fingers crossed for nationals glory

Kate MatthewsCountryman

In just four days, the best polocrosse players in WA will be testing their skills at the national championships in Queensland.

Ninety-eight horses, 58 riders and 17 coaches and managers travelled more than 4000km across the Nullarbor and through flood-affected countryside to Warwick, home of the world's best polocrosse facility.

The family game is a favourite among farmers and others involved in agriculture.

The championships, held every two years, are the polocrosse equivalent of the AFL grand final.

Hoping for a hat-trick is the WA senior women's team.

Team manager Kerryn Mickle, who is the branch manager for Elders in Kojonup, said the team was "dead keen to get on the flat and do their job to win three in a row".

The team of seven - Jane Cooper, Suzette Thomas, Trish Jones, Mandy Marriott, Kerryn Parsons, Rachael Phillips and Jodi Tiver - will be defending their 2010 and 2008 trophy wins.

Adding plenty of experience for finals fever will be Mandy Marriott who has played nationals since 1976.

"Being able to be competitive, even though I'm getting older and travelling with the sport, which is a family sport, is what I love," she said.

And egging the women on will be players from the men's, open mixed, under 24, under 21, open juniors and mixed masters for men and women.

State team manager and Kojonup farmer Pip Crook said the contingent of WA players was one of the biggest competing at the nationals.

Mrs Crook said the toughest competition would be from New South Wales which had teams in all 12 divisions of the competition.

WA players come from as far north as Shark Bay and Margaret River and Frankland River in the south.

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