Not so long ago, playing rugby league was a novelty for 12-year-old girls and it was pure impulsiveness and curiosity which sparked young Jasmine Peters’ first taste of the game.
The Titans flying centre has brought electrifying speed to the Gold Coast’s left-edge this year and while the 20-year-old looks born to hold a Steeden football, it may be the rugby league gods we have to thank for orchestrating an introduction to the game which could have never been.
“My mum doesn’t like this story,” Peters laughed to NRL.com.
“But when I was 12, I played soccer and one afternoon my dad and I got to training but were told it was cancelled.
"Then I remembered the Year 6 rugby league schoolgirls competition in Mackay was on at the junior league fields so I said; ‘dad, dad let’s go watch’ but when I got there I pulled out my footy boots and told him I wanted to play.
“We weren’t sure what mum would think because of how rough it was but dad let me play and I actually got woman-of-the-match which was so cool.”
Jasmine Peters opens the scoring for the Titans
For Peters, that is the moment she traces back to for when she fell in love with rugby league.
But the Mackay product, who couldn’t wipe the smile off her face, knew there was someone who still needed convincing if she was to ever play again.
“When we got home mum was worried because we were so late and couldn’t understand why training took so long,” Peters said.
“And I’m a terrible liar, so I told her straight away and she was like ‘what the hell, you should have told me, I would have come and watched.'
“I’ve always loved football because my dad and my brothers played so I grew up watching it but I never got the chance to play until then. I fell in love with it that day and ever since then it’s been my game.”
The following year, Peters decided to hang up the soccer boots and sign up for the North Mackay Devils junior rugby league team.
“Mum still took some convincing but after I survived Round 1, she came down to watch our second game,” Peters said.
“I tackled one of the biggest girls on the opposition right in front of her. I think she saw then that I was going to be ok.
"She said, ‘I’m more afraid of the other girls getting hurt from you than I am of you getting hurt.'Titans centre Jasmine Peters
Seven years later and Peters has represented her state in the Under-19s Origin, the Indigenous All Stars side, and will once again pull on her yellow and blue number four jersey for Sunday's clash against the Roosters as the Titans look to keep their season alive.
Jasmine Peters is too hard to handle
Despite her mum's initial concerns about her only daughter playing a contact sport, Peters said she has well and truly jumped on the rugby league bandwagon and will be tuning in to the weekend's game.
“My mum is definitely one of my biggest supporters now, she has been right there next to my dad and two brothers throughout everything,” Peters said.
“She’s done lots of driving, trying to get me to training and everything and I know she loves watching me now.
“My biggest supporters are my family, they would drop everything to help me out and make sure I follow my dream.”
Match: Titans v Roosters
Round 5 -
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford