The Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership finals are not uncharted waters for Simaima Taufa, having played in the past two Grand Finals for Mounties.
With Mounties pulling out of this year’s competition due to COVID-19, Taufa elected to don the North Sydney Bears jersey in 2020 and is now helping them chase their first ever women’s title.
The Bears will play to an elimination match this weekend against the Wests Tigers, who defeated the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 20-10 last week, but Taufa said that won’t be an issue for the Bears after they beat the South Sydney Rabbitohs 24-0.
“It has been an incredible experience,” Taufa said.
“We got a little bit rattled last week after losing our half Kirra Dibb, and Nita Maynard being ruled out due to sickness, but the girls pulled together and now we know that although there were unforeseen circumstances that happened, we were ready to win.
“We worked together trained really hard all week and got the results we were after.”
A Mounties veteran and captain, Taufa never envisaged playing for another club but when they couldn’t field a team in 2020 she knew she had only one other choice.
“The coach, Rob Capizzi, gave me a call earlier on before COVID hit,” she said.
“Mounties weren’t able to field a team this year due to their own personal reasoning, but for me I told Rob that if there was any team, I would go to it would be Bears.
“He is the first person who made contact with me and I knew some of the girls like Nita [Maynard] that I wanted to play alongside.”
The NSW representative prop has found herself in many representative teams throughout her career including the NSW Women’s Origin squad and the Jillaroos, but the challenge of working in new team dynamics is something she is relishing.
“It’s different, a lot of adjusting but I love the challenge, I love the girls there and I love being part of that group,” Taufa said.
“We’re really excited. The Bears haven’t been in a semi-final and I know that the girls are looking forward to it.”
The winner of this weekend’s match-up will face the loser of the Central Coast Roosters and Cronulla Sharks match next week in the Grand Final qualifier.