The continuing growth of women’s rugby league has relied on the resilience and determination of its players – and players will again be required to draw on all their reserves as the Holcim Cup enters Round 2 this weekend.
The hard shutdown of the border by the Queensland state government to all of Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales has forced the withdrawal of Tweed Seagulls from the competition as of Round 2; but there are hopes the team will be able to re-join the competition at a later date if the health situation in NSW improves and the border reopens.
Queensland Rugby League have been working with the club staff, players and state government officials in order to find a solution that will allow for some Seagulls players to still be involved in the competition which is also serving as a Harvey Norman Queensland Maroons selection tool.
Discussions are still to take place on whether or not some Tweed Seagulls players will be reallocated to the remaining four teams in the competition (West Brisbane Panthers, Souths Logan Magpies, Easts Tigers and Burleigh Bears), or if they will remain with their team and play in the Round 3, 4 and 5 matches.
If the Seagulls are unable to return to the competition; other available players may be evenly dispersed across the SEQW teams to strengthen that competition.
QRL senior pathways and performance manager Brett Jones said discussions were ongoing and he appreciated the flexibility of the clubs and players and the collaboration taking place in order to secure the best outcome.
“We will take the information provided to us by Tweed Seagulls and the Queensland state government and consult the other Holcim Cup teams over the weekend to better understand our options moving forward,” Jones said.
“We thank all involved, especially the players and coaches, for their flexibility and ongoing commitment to providing players with an opportunity to prepare for the upcoming Origin fixture.”
A new four-team format will be in place from this weekend and will see Burleigh Bears face off against West Brisbane Panthers at 2.40pm and Souths Logan Magpies play Easts Tigers at 4pm.
Under the new format, each team will play a full game each week against the same team (two x 30 minutes, with a 10-minute break between halves) and each team will play each other once throughout the competition.
The points system which allowed for teams to earn three points a game will remain and all points and the current ladder following the completion of a successful Round 1 will be retained and carried forward.
An updated draw will be developed in the coming days outlining the games for the remaining rounds.
All of the players who are taking part in the competition will have to quickly refocus to their upcoming matches at Pathion Park this Saturday.
Top five: Holcim Cup Round 1
Last weekend’s opening round of the Holcim Cup provided plenty of entertainment, with players returning from the football shutdown without skipping a beat.
The Burleigh Bears proved their defensive steel in their two wins, with neither Easts Tigers nor Tweed Seagulls able to cross their line.
West Brisbane Panthers will be looking forward to testing themselves against the Bears on Saturday after going down 13-12, thanks to a Meg Ward field goal after a fantastic 60 minutes of football last weekend against Souths Logan Magpies.
The Magpies will be aiming to build on their performance when they meet an enthusiastic Easts Tiger side later in afternoon.