14 April, 2022

Junior Snakes turning into Sapphires

CABOOLTURE Snakes rugby league duo Tamzin Taumafai and Grace Giampino are ready to give their all in the Harvey Norman Women’s National Championships, which run from June 9 to 12.

Tamzin Taumafai.
Tamzin Taumafai.

Taumafai and Giampino have been named in the Queensland Sapphires U19 squad, while the championships provide players with a chance to push for selection in the Queensland U19 team to contest New South Wales.

Taumafai and her twin sister Emmogen were part of the Sapphires squad which won last year’s title, although they had limited game time.

Taumafai said it would feel different to not have her twin playing alongside her at this year’s championships, with Emmogen soon having a shoulder reconstruction.

Playing with Giampino will be familiar to Taumafai, however, as the two have played together for the Snakes.

After playing in last year’s championships, Taumafai said she had an idea of what to expect at this year’s championships.

“The skills and talent among the girls are crazy, so yes I feel like I know a little on what to expect,” she said.

“I know a few of the girls from junior Central Crows and school girls competitions.

“I would love to have more game time if I do make the team, but just being there alone and learning off different coaches and players is great as well.” 

Taumafai said she loved playing in the forward pack, while Giampino said her preferred position was second-row.

“Over the years I’ve been seen playing in the centres, but I prefer the involvement and contact that second-row has to offer,” she said.

Giampino said the national championships would be a great opportunity, as this is the first year she is eligible.

Having progressed from juniors to seniors since last year, Giampino said the change to seniors was good because the football was ‘more aggressive and fast’.

“I’m quite fond in playing alongside Tamzin, as I’ve played for six years at the Caboolture Snakes with her,” Giampino said.

“I’ve also played alongside former Sunshine Coast players Shae Holliday and Makayla Everding in multiple rep teams such as the Queensland Country side late last year.

“I’m quite familiar with a lot of the girls from the Sapphires squad.”

Giampino said she also looked forward to meeting her new teammates in coming weeks.

Taumafai and Giampino were spectators at the National Rugby League Women’s (NRLW) grand final last Sunday, and said after the game that they hoped to progress to NRLW ranks some day.

“That’s definitely the dream,” Giampino said.

Giampino said there was a good atmosphere at the NRLW grand final, and that it’s ‘good to see what it takes to make it’ to the NRLW.

Giampino said she would like to play for the North Queensland Cowboys if they had a team, but that ‘just being signed’ by a NRLW club would be great.

Taumafai said “definitely Broncos”, when asked which NRLW club she would like to represent in her future playing career.


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