City Womens’ Young-Gun Dodd Shines Bright
NSW City Womens utility Quincy Dodd knows that age is just a number.
The youngest member in the City squad to contest the inaugural Harvey Norman National Women's Championships at the Gold Coast this weekend (1-3 June), the 18-year-old star ran in a hat-trick of tries as the Steve Kelly-coached side sealed a grand final berth with an impressive 26-0 defeat of Queensland Country.
Starring for the Cronulla Sharks throughout the 2018 Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup season – one which ended with a premiership – the softly-spoken Dodd earned selection in the City side, primarily for her ball-playing ability.
But crossing for a treble of tries in the unfamiliar wing position in the side's Day Two win, Dodd did her NSW Womens State of Origin selection chances no harm.
Arriving in camp alongside more experienced members of the squad ahead of the tournament on Thursday (31 May), Dodd has quickly earned the respect of her peers.
"We had a good chat before the campaign and she was freaking out that she was playing with some big names in our team which was a shock," NSW City Womens Co-captain Elianna Walton tells NSWRL.com.au.
"I didn't know of her until I came into camp, but we've just seen her flourish [at the National Women's Championships]. Yesterday and today she was outstanding. She's strong for a little girl – I'm very proud of her.
"They (young girls) just look cool, calm and collected, you can't tell that they're stressing out."
For Dodd, she admitted she was focused on job on the field but didn't realise until after her first match just how nervous she was.
"The nerves were pretty high. I found out after the first game I had the highest heart rate (of the team) so I must have had a lot of energy and was keen to play," the 18-year-old says.
"The first game I went out pretty hard, the first hit up I got a bit smashed but carried on from that went in for another tackle and it felt good.
"Playing against some of the bigger girls, the bigger names and getting experience with the older women, it's really good."
Asked to move between wing and fullback in the side's Day One win over the Combined Associate States, Dodd settled into the flanker's role on Day Two – the three-try effort consolidating her place as a NSW Women's Origin hopeful.
"I'm pretty happy with those tries. I had a good back line so easy balls, I just had to step back in and get across the line," the humble Dodd says.
Dodd's modesty and grounded nature has all the makings of a solid Rugby League player, with coach Kelly praising the young star's versatility.
"She's unbelievable. She's an amazing young lady, there's not much of her but she can run, she can tackle and I think she's really stood up as a young future player," Kelly says.
"Naturally she's a half back through the Tasha Gale Cup system at Cronulla, but I think we could almost play her anywhere."
NSW City Womens will square-off with the NSW Country Womens side in Sunday's (3 June) Grand Final, to be live streamed at QRL.com.au from 1.15pm (AEST).