Aitken: This is unfinished business

· Super W
by Waratahs Media
Only shortly after securing a spot in the Buildcorp Super W Grand Final, the NSW Waratahs Women found out that the competition – and any potential decider – was postponed due to COVID-19.

The wider rugby and sporting communities are continuing to grapple with the challenges this situation has presented, and while Head Coach, Campbell Aitken would love to be preparing for a Grand Final he acknowledges the important nature of Rugby Australia’s recent decision.

“Yeah, I think everyone’s disappointed that we can’t finish off what we started at the moment, but we fully support the decision [to postpone] and the reasons for it,” Aitken said.

“It’s time like these that remind us that health and safety should be at the forefront of every decision we make.

“We’re very careful with our players, making sure they and their families are safe. We’ve got a couple of players who have kids, which is what people don’t see sometimes.

“Whilst we’d all like to be playing rugby, these things are bigger than the game.”

Upon hearing the news around the postponement, Aitken and his staff spoke to the playing group about what would come next during this unprecedented change.

“It’s mostly just confusion [within the group], but the message was us was simple: ‘this is unfinished business’,” he said.

“We were disappointed with the way we played up in Queensland, we’ve got a few things we want to rectify from that and show people how good we are.

“There’s a big feeling [unfinished business] across the whole squad.”

The challenge now? The waiting game. Aitken and his team are now looking at how they can best approach this period to ensure they’re ready to go if matches can eventually be played.

“Yeah, it’s tough at the moment [to plan], our Strength and Conditioning Coaches are speaking with the girls to keep them fit,” he said.

“The hardest part is to stop the girls from training, they’re desperate to keep training and ultimately play.

“We’re pretty confident we can get everyone back to where we want them if we get the go-ahead.”

As part of Rugby Australia’s announcement around the competition, they advised that a final re-assessment on the decision to continue the Finals made on Monday April 27 at the latest.

If a competition couldn’t go ahead, it’s expected that NSW would be crowned Champions for the third successive year.

“I think we’ve proven over the season that we deserve to be top of the ladder and obviously we’d love to play a Grand Final.

“But in the current situation we’ve gone through [the regular season] undefeated so I think it would be tough for anyone to argue with that outcome.

“NSW rugby have been outstanding in their advice to and support of the girls, everyday we’re just reminding them what they need to do and how to keep themselves safe.

“The most important thing is their health and that’s what we’re focusing on.”