The first QRL Women's Premiership fixture was played at the weekend with the Central Queensland Capras hosting Souths Logan Magpies in a trial match at Rockhampton's Browne Park.
The first official round of the competition kicks off next month and will be the culmination of years of work behind the scenes by the Queensland Rugby League, the clubs and players.
I travelled to Rockhampton to watch the first QRLW Premiership game live and Souths win 16-4.
From my point for view, it was very exciting and I am very proud.
We went up with Souths, so the first ever travel for any QRLW team.
Whilst a lot of women have sacrificed a lot prior to now and travelled in their own time and on their own dime, this is the first time the QRL has been able to fund that and it was very exciting.
I was sitting in the airport at Brisbane on Saturday morning and you see Steph Hancock, who has been a warrior for the women’s game for a long time, and she’s walking around these young girls with their backpacks on and their zippers are open, so she’s zipping their zips up there, and she’s straightening a collar up here. She’s like a mother hen.
These young girls are very excited and when they got on the plane, they were like a mob of chooks and it was great to hear, ‘cause that meant they were excited and that they were enjoying it.
They looked really good as a team, so from our point of view, very exciting.
It was great to watch Steph kick off the very first ball, that was spot on and very fitting.
The Capras were outstanding. They had two sessions beforehand, so for them to actually compete as well as they did...
It was just tough defensively, they were not a really big side, but they just got in front defensively and played tough footy and just bounced back up when they got whacked.
They gave away considerable size difference, but it was a phenomenal weekend to be involved in. It was very enjoyable and it was a tough old game.
It was really good - a really good weekend for the QRLW.
The crowd were very engaged. There were many up there that said they really enjoyed the standard of the game and were surprised by that.
It’s something that we in the game know and are not surprised about, but some haven’t had the capacity to see that evolution in the game, especially in the southeast corner, where the women have been playing regularly and consistently, and the quality that you get out of that.
But now, certainly, they will see that their young girls have the opportunity to progress and they will be getting right behind it.
I am excited for Round 1. I can’t wait for it.
The first game will see Brothers Ipswich take on the North Queensland Gold Stars in Ipswich.
Match: Brothers v Stars
Round 1 -
Venue: Blue Ribbon Motors Field, Ipswich
Main image: Jann Houley / The Morning Bulletin