Women's league is making moves

Jacob McMaster - Bega District News

One small step for Group 16, one giant leap for women’s league. 

The second showing of full contact women’s rugby league in Moruya on Saturday was a thriller for fans, but also players. 

There are still those who have doubts about the format, but anyone who got to see the game surely had those doubts silenced on the weekend. 

Women are just as capable, just as skillful and more than willing to throw themselves wholeheartedly into the game. 

You’ll have to excuse the 50-0 score line in favour of the All Stars, but it was understandably hard to build a balanced roster when women’s full contact is such an unknown quantity in Group 16. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a great league-tag competition on the Far South Coast, but opportunities for a full contact game are extremely limited.

Millie Boyle and Jillaroo Kezie Apps were instrumental in the All Stars’ win, but Millie herself said the score didn’t reflect the quality of football played by the Indigenous side. 

She and fellow All Star Sam Moon both tell me it doesn’t hurt as much as people suggest and encourage everyone to give it a go. 

They both play rugby union in Canberra, because it’s the only chance to maintain a full contact career without heading north. 

There are some who are apprehensive about tackling, or being tackled, but the response from the 40 women who played was overwhelmingly positive. 

Battered or bruised, everyone came off smiling and there was no denying that the sprints, fends and hit ups were just as good as any man could do.

Some of the players involved are women who’ve grown up with league and they appreciate league-tag, but always have a taste for more. 

With rival codes making advances in equality, it’s good to see rugby league taking some progressive steps. 

Saturday was another milestone in paving the way to an equal future and I’m glad to hear each of the players will get to keep their representative outfits. It’s a memento to remind everyone that Group 16 has taken a big step forward. 


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