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Experts' view: Favourite Women in League moment

There has been no better development in rugby league over the last 10 years than the growth of the women's game.

When coupled with women also moving into other aspects of the game - be they governance, officiating or myriad other activities - the game has become the richer for it.

But that beggars the question, which event of the last 10 years was your favourite.

Experts' view - Favourite Women in League moment

Steve Renouf (Maroons legend)

The Brisbane Broncos women securing the three-peat in 2020. This is a champion rugby league team that is great to watch.

Brett Kimmorley (Former Test halfback)

My favourite women’s moment was my two oldest daughters playing in a rugby league high school knockout gala day being guided by former Australian player Allana Ferguson.

Play your part this Harvey Norman Women in League Round

Jamie Soward (Premiership winner)

The Broncos winning their NRLW titles and the way Ali Brigginshaw continues to be the GOAT. Watching her up close and interviewing her will be a story I share with my girls if they end up playing footy.

Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers legend)

For mine, the greatest event was the action and the atmosphere of the first standalone Origin match at North Sydney Oval in 2018. After that things have kept moving in the right direction.

Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues

Mary Konstantopoulos (Ladies Who League) 

After the joy of the Jillaroos 2017 World Cup win, I wasn’t sure life as a female footy fan could get better. Then just three weeks later the NRLW was announced and it was a game-changing moment. It is now completely normal for both men and women to play rugby league at the highest levels in Australia. 

Brad Walter ( senior reporter)

The PNG Orchids playing at the 2017 World Cup. Rugby League is the No.1 sport in PNG but it took the determination of a small group of players, coaches and officials to establish a team that competed at the 2017 World Cup to break down gender barriers and gain widespread support for women to play the game. The inspiring documentary Power Meri explains it all.

Paul Suttor ( editor-in-chief)

History was made at the State of Origin match on the Sunshine Coast in June when the coaches (Tahnee Norris and Kylie Hilder) for both teams and all the on-field officials were women. With pathways now in place, this should become a much more common occurrence in women’s rugby league.

Alicia Newton ( reporter)

The Jillaroos winning their first World Cup in 2013 was a game-changer and great reward for Australian pioneers Karyn Murphy, Tahnee Norris and Stephanie Hancock who had spent more than a decade earlier trying to break the Kiwi Ferns’ dominant record. It was also the first time the national team was financially funded by the NRL after many years of paying their own way.

Match Highlights: Broncos v Roosters

Paul Zalunardo ( senior journalist)

Belinda Sharpe. In round 18 of the 2019 season, Sharpe made history when she became the first woman to referee an NRL match. Since then she has refereed another seven NRL matches as well as Women's State of Origin matches. She has also been a touch judge for more than 100 NRL games.

Martin Lenehan ( senior journalist)

The inaugural State of Origin clash at the iconic North Sydney Oval in 2018 was a watershed moment for the women’s game and the Blues and Maroons produced an epic contest. Star centre Isabelle Kelly’s double was enough to get NSW home in a high-quality clash that set the standard for all future interstate battles.

Zac Bailey ( reporter)

Turning in a performance that results in 22 runs, 182 metres, 29 tackles in 60 minutes is amazing. Doing it in an Origin match is incredible. Doing it with one week's preparation after overcoming a torn leg muscle nearly defies belief. But this is what NSW forward Simaima Taufa did in the 2018 State of Origin match. It was a performance for the ages.

Chris Kennedy ( reporter)

For me, it was the first official State of Origin, held as a standalone match at North Sydney Oval in 2018. It was a brilliant occasion and a historic one for the sport, as well as a fantastic game in its own right and the atmosphere was incredible. It was one of my favourite rugby league memories. This contest should never be a curtain-raiser again.

Dan Walsh ( reporter)

Ali Brigginshaw's post-Origin interview a few months ago. "Women's footy was f---ing awesome tonight," was the Queensland skipper summary on how an enthralling contest reflected the progress of the women's game. No need for thrills or cliches after one of the best games of 2021 - basically Brigginshaw to a tee, one of rugby league's best ambassadors over the past few years.

Troy Whittaker ( reporter)

Being at North Sydney Oval for the first official women’s State of Origin match in 2018 is a personal highlight. The atmosphere was electric and it represented another step forward for the women’s game. Isabelle Kelly was fantastic that night in sparking the Blues to victory.

Lone Scout ( Fantasy guru)

A pre-season tournament isn’t the most obvious place to capture the public’s imagination but when the Kiwi Ferns and the Jillaroos faced off in a three-match series across two days at the 2015 Auckland Nines it made a massive impact. Crowds of more than 40,000 were thrilled by some spectacular hits as the bruising defence of the New Zealanders led the home nation to a 2-1 series win. 


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The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARL Commission, NRL clubs or state associations.


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