The Atlantic Attack entered the NRL with some pretty high aspirations for the season: to have an above .500 percentage, and to secure a place in the NRL Eastern Conference playoffs. For this month, one goal has been achieved as the Attack have an impressive .543 percentage. It also appears that goal number two may be reached as well. The Attack currently sit in 5th place with seven games remaining on the season. So, what has made them successful in having the potential to achieve both goals, you ask? They have one of the best goaltender duos in the NRL. They’re incredibly fast. They never quit (tying a game with only .08 of a second left is surely no evidence of giving up) and if you ask forward Josee Doiron, she will say it’s because they play with heart every single time they lace up the skates.
As two-thirds of the season has flown by with lightning speed, it was about due time to catch up with head coach, Julien Leger, to get a perspective of what he has seen from the bird’s eye view of the bench.
Q: How should the team play in order to secure a playoff position?
A: To secure our playoff spot we need to make sure that we play ‘our’ game. That consists of making sure we play our systems, that everybody is playing their role on the team, that we are working as a unit, and that we are using our speed.
Q: What are some things to improve upon heading into the playoff drive?
A: We need to be more consistent and play a full 40 minutes without breakdowns if we want to continue to succeed in this league. We also need to pay more attention to the little details and play simple ringette.
Q: What has been the overall experience been like throughout the first season for the Attack?
A: We’re having a ball playing in this league. The biggest hurdle was adapting to playing a season of 30 games. We never experienced playing in a league where each game counts. Years past, we had all season long to train and get in shape for the Canadian Championships while only having handful of games per season that had a meaning.
As the Attack continue to attract a slew of fans wherever they go, and gain respect of their NRL opponents, it is not hard to think about this being a true ‘dream season.’ If you asked the players themselves what would make this NRL debut complete, you can be sure they would allude to a potential third goal: to cross five time zones in a day as they make the voyage to Burnaby, B.C. this April. Time will tell and at this point in the season and with this group of athletes, anything is possible.