Marie Leather, starting Running Back for the Portsmouth Dreadnoughts Women’s Team joined us to discuss her team’s performance during their second tournament as part of their contact season.
PD: Marie, how to you feel the team performed on Saturday?
ML: “I think we were a little slow out of the blocks. For the first half, it was like we were still trying to get off the coach & onto the field. That said, at half time, we told each other we were better than our first half performance & that we needed to show what being a Dreadnought was all about. We told each other to up the intensity & start playing how we knew we could! We finished the game strong, pushed the Stallions right to the end & forced them to defend hard but unfortunately, we couldn’t quite finish it in the time we had left. I walked off proud to be a Dreadnought. Proud of the fight we had in us”.
PD: After such a close score against Wembley, what were the feeling within the team?
ML: “It was a mix of disappointment, frustration & pride. Disappointment because we should have switched on earlier & only had ourselves to blame for that, frustration because we knew we could perform better overall but pride, because in that second half we did step up, we did take the game to Wembley & we did perform like Dreadnoughts”.
PD – How do you feel your personal performance went?
ML: “I struggled in the first half. Every time I got a handoff it felt like I had a minimum of two Stallions on me immediately & I couldn’t seem to find a way through. By the second half I was so frustrated that we weren’t playing to our full potential that I just found some inner aggression to help me burst through a few tackles (helped by some good blocking by my team mates). Against Peterborough we were much more composed & the plays went to plan”.
PD – As a rugby player, what made you give American Football a go?
ML: “I have always wanted to try American Football but never knew of any local teams. I have a secret love for anything American & admires how disciplined the players are. I love a good physical contest & playing as part of a team so whilst not completely understanding the game I thought it would be right up my street. Having played rugby for 14 years I thought it was time to step outside my comfort zone & live out a dream”.
PD – What was the biggest adjustment you had to make going from rugby to American Football?
ML: “Not passing the ball when running with it!! A lot of skills are transferable but being disciplined & sticking to a given route takes some getting used to. I still have a long way to go to learn the rules but I am loving it”.
PD – What has been your favourite moment of the season so far?
ML: “Seeing how the team as a whole have developed. From the first flag game to now is worlds apart. They are such a talented bunch & I cannot wait to see, as we grow in confidence & gel more as a team how we progress during the season”.
Marie is a highly talented player who is a threat to score every time she receives the ball and will continue to cause defenses havoc throughout the remaining Sapphire tournaments.