This week Rugby League pays tribute to the 50,000 women involved in the game; from the grass roots volunteers, officials and administrators all the way to the high level board room positions. Five clubs will don specially designed pink jerseys this round, while all official match balls will also be pink.
More than 25 NRL players including Blues skipper Paul Gallen will wear special pink Blades football boots this weekend in support of the Harvey Norman Women in League Round, with a number of the boots to be auctioned after the Round through www.nrlauctions.com in support of the McGrath Foundation and club charities.
5000 women from across the game voted Petero Civoniceva as the Harvey Norman Women in League Favourite Son. They could not have picked a better human being. The award was presented to a player who ‘acts as a role model to young players and whose off-field characteristics embody the true values of the Rugby League community’.
Civoniceva, the most capped Australian Test forward, is a true legend of the sport and a deserving recipient. He joins Hazem el Masri and Nathan Hindmarsh as the other players to receive the award.
Read more details about Civoniceva's award
Watch the video - Trent Barrett catches up with Civoniceva and his lovely wife Bonnie
Monday night blockbuster beckons
Manly v St George Illawarra is a massive game – some have argued it is a Grand Final preview. I think that is a bit premature, but both teams have proved they are Premiership contenders and will take a lot of stopping. This clash is one for the fans, a game of similar styles with an aura of September. It will be a contest of high intensity, high pressure in front of a buzzing crowd. These games are what make Rugby League great, two competition heavyweights going toe-to-toe. Soward v Foran, Gasnier v Matai, Creagh v Watmough – what more could you want?
Verdict: Origin alive and well
Sitting in the middle of the Johnathan Thurston judiciary hearing on Wednesday night, a packed media contingent (described as standing room only), hung on every word. The whole saga made you realize just how important this State of Origin Series has become.
Over 26,000 fans logged onto NRL.com’s live chat to wait for the verdict – not able to hang around for the information in their morning newspapers. Actually – the 45minutes of deliberation proved too much for many who were demanding on social networking sites to know the verdict then and there. So much so, Thurston was trending worldwide on Twitter!
State of Origin is alive and well.
DID YOU KNOW?
• The NRL surpassed 350,000 fans on Facebook last week.
• Over 29,000 Origin branded M&M buckets have been sold during this year’s series, with NSW taking a slender lead of 572 units.
THIS WEEK ON NRL.com
Official View: Stuart Raper looks at the forward pass that was missed in the Broncos-Dragons blockbuster
NRL Mailbox: This week we look at the Dragons clash with the Sea Eagles and answer your questions on why the fixture could not be moved
Stats Insider: What your team needs to do to make the Finals – we crunch the numbers.
Sterling Gold – Is momentum too important in Rugby League? Peter Sterling looks at the reasons behind teams getting a glut of possession and games momentum swinging
In Touch – What women love about Rugby League
Inside Word – Trent Barrett looks at the real possibility of Jarryd Hayne playing in the centres for the Blues in the much anticipated Origin decider
From the Mind of Middo – David Middleton looks at taking Rugby League back to Western Australia
Next Gen – Bulldogs young Toyota Cup team has won seven games in a row, find out where your team sits in the run into the finals
On the Road – Steve Mascord looks at a dramatic round of Rugby League which saw the Dragons lose top spot for the first time in 18 months.
MATCH CENTRE – ROUND 16
Get all the team lists, head-to-head stats and our match previews in the match centre. Plus live stats and scores, match highlights and much much more!
You can also watch the match highlights of the last time the two sides met.
Updated Team List - all the latest team news
THIS WEEK'S VIDEOS ON NRL.com
Coming up this weekend on NRL.com
Saturday / Sunday 3:00pm – 4:30pm: NRL Deluxe on League TV with Freddy Fittler and John Gibbs
Live NSW team announcement and analysis on Sunday afternoon with John Gibbs and Luke Lewis from 4:40PM
Full Match replays or just watch the best bits with Game Analyser. (All matches available 24 hours after final siren)
Register for Toyota NRL Dream Team now and receive an 8 week subscription to The Sydney Morning Herald or The Sun-Herald, home delivered five days a week at absolutely no cost to you.
Simply tick the opt-in box during the registration process to enjoy this exclusive subscription gift, from the Telstra NRL Dream Team.
8 WEEK SUBSCRIPTION
5 DAYS A WEEK (FRIDAY THROUGH TO TUESDAY)
ZERO COST TO YOU!
*NSW & ACT residents eligible for paper offer only. Terms and conditions apply. The 8 week subscription is paid for by Telstra. Offer ends June 26