BODALLA'S Farran Mathie and Moruya’s Brittany Jones donned the sky blue for NSW and have returned as national polocrosse champions.
The pair played for the under 21s team in the national championships at Darwin and survived a nail-biting final against Queensland to win the title.
NSW blitzed its pool games winning 22-9 against Victoria, 26-9 against NT, 26-13 against WA and 22-12 against Queensland.
In the final, NSW led by seven points when Jones and Mathie left the field at the end of the sixth chukka.
In the seventh chukka Queensland fought back and when Jones and Mathie returned for the eighth and final chukka the game was evened up.
Mathie said she gave away a “free goal” and then accidently gave away a penalty.
“We then turned it around, got the ball and won by three goals,” Mathie said.
Jones said the final chukka was “really intense” but “pretty amazing”.
“I remember feeling fairly anxious about it but I just gave it my all, tried my heart out and we went really well together and won,” Jones said.
“It was a real team effort.”
Mathie said her mum did not want to watch because it was too close.
Adjusting to the Darwin temperature was easier than expected and by the end of the event the team was happy to play in the conditions.
“You got a good sweat up,” Mathie said.
“By the end of it I quite enjoyed it,” Jones said.
Both had individual success at the competition with Mathie winning champion horse and rider of the under 21s.
“It was quite good, it made me really happy,” Mathie said.
“I didn’t want to be up myself and cocky but I said ‘mum do you know that’s out of all the girls in Australia’.
“It was pretty cool and a good feeling.”
Jones put her rodeo skills to test in an open barrel race and took out the event.
“Anyone could enter and I won which was pretty exciting,” Jones said.
The two will take a break from polocrosse and build towards the next national championships in 2016 at Albury.
“I hope to improve and practice and prepare other horses,” Jones said.
Mathie is in the Australian squad and was hoping to play at an event at the end of the year but it was unfortunately cancelled.