Stammers and Mooney playing hard in Women's Nines.

When it comes to family names that are synonymous with Blayney rugby league, Stammers and Mooney are two that readily spring to mind.

From 1983 through to 1995, Danny Stammers and Steve Mooney played around 220 games together and secured two premierships in 1990 and 1993.

The two were also constant Western Rams players during that time and now that representation is being followed with their daughters, Sophie Stammers and Grace Mooney.

Trained in the realms of touch and league tag, the pair have entered the domain of the rough and tumble of a modified version of the men’s tackle game called the Western CRL Women’s Nines.

Played on a full-sized field but with only nine players, Bears league tag coach Steve Mooney said that the game was a lot faster than the men’s version.

“Because there is only nine players they can’t go piling on top of the player with the ball because they leave too much open space available,” he said.

The transition from touch and league tag to the Nines games has been an eye-openers for the girls who’s only real experience in rough and tumble footy has been in the backyard with siblings and cousins.

With three older brothers, Grace has been pummeled in backyard footy since she could run with a ball.

“I think it’s just in my blood,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to do it and now that the opportunity has popped up, I’ve just done it.”

They all recognise the importance that the league tag competition has played in them moving into the Nines.

Since starring on the league tag field, Sophie was asked to play for the Orange Hawks and Grace for Bathurst St Pats nines sides.

With four games played, the pair have said that the nines games were tougher than expected.

“It’s probably a bit harder than I thought it would be,” Grace said, “The ground hurts.” 

Neither Steve nor Danny thought that their daughters would ever play the tackle game.

“I thought that league tag would be that, but now there are more opportunities that are being presented to the girls, there’s a path that they can follow,” Steve said.

Sophie also followed the traditional paths of soccer, netball, touch and league tag, but without brothers to bounce off, her tactics are somewhat different to Grace’s.

“My aim is not to be tackled much because I don’t like it, so I tend to run around a lot and try to avoid the bigger girls,” she said.

Being tackled is one thing, but being the tackler is another.

“I go alright at it but I don’t really have to do much because I’m usually out the back.’

As for the dad’s seeing their daughters out on the field getting thumped, there’s no real worries.

“I’m quite comfortable with it really,’ Danny laughed.

‘It’s actually quite funny,” Steve said, “but at the moment it’s more just grabbing but I think that as the competition grows, it will get even tougher.”