Over 16,000 fans watched the Kiwi Ferns defeat the Australian Jillaroos live on NRL.com.

Women's game attracts big online audience

The Kiwi Ferns' thrilling last-minute win over the Australian Jillaroos was watched live on NRL.com by more than 16,000 fans.

The dramatic match, won by the Ferns thanks to a 79th-minute try to Teuila Fotu-Moala, marked the first time the women's game had played as the curtain-raiser to a men's international.

The NRL said it was delighted that so many fans got the opportunity to watch the game.

"The standard of rugby league played by our women's teams on Sunday was outstanding," NRL head of game development Andrew Hill said.

"We saw thousands of fans arrive at WIN Stadium, ahead of time, to watch the game played as the curtain raiser to the Samoa v Kangaroos match.

"I am thrilled that not only were we able to deliver that live stream on NRL.com but that so many viewers took up the opportunity to watch it.

"It was a great weekend for women's rugby league."

Fans who could not get to WIN Stadium streamed the game live on NRL.com on their computers and also watched via mobile and tablet devices. 

The match came off the back of a successful 2013 World Cup, where the Jillaroos upset the Ferns 22-12 to break New Zealand's 13-year reign at the top of the women's game. 

The Jillaroos and Ferns will play each other in three nine-a-side games during the NRL Auckland Nines in January.