Almanac Rugby League – NRLW: At last!

Finally, after far too long, the inaugural NRLW competition kicks off this weekend. Even though women’s rugby league has been around for ages, it has taken until now for a real deal set of fixtures to actually take place. The initial scale will be modest with only four teams contesting the premiership. A round robin series of matches will be played as curtain-raisers to NRL finals, with the NRLW Grand Final to be played on September 30 prior to the men’s NRL Grand Final. The four clubs represented will be Sydney Roosters, NZ Warriors , Brisbane Broncos and St George/Illawarra Dragons.


This weekend, the Roosters will face off against the Warriors at 3.05pm on Saturday while the Broncos will take on the Dragons at 1.45pm on Sunday. All matches will be show live on Channel Nine, Fox Sports and the NRL Live Pass app. While most rules will be the same as for the NRL, these games will consist of two 30-minute halves with two on-field referees and the Bunker in play. Each team will be allowed 10 interchanges (plus an extra 2 if the game goes to golden point), while tactical kicking will see the use of a 40/30 rule.


The player judged best-on-ground in the Grand Final will receive the Karyn Murphy Medal in honour of the former Queensland and Australian Jillaroo captain Murphy played in the first Interstate Challenge match in 1999 and played in 16 (yes, 16!) consecutive Queensland victories until her retirement. She also led Australia to its first Rugby League World Cup victory in 2013.


It is expected that the competition will expand to feature several more teams as the coming seasons unfold.


If this year’s Women’s State of Origin match is anything to go by, we can look forward to some exciting footy from the ladies. That match was full of skill, speed, commitment and passion. Just as importantly, it was without histrionics, rampant egos and gamesmanship (gamespersonship?). Just two teams giving their all to play an open, skillful game, full of entertainment.


Bring it on!






About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of Footy Almanac's online editors, I moonlight as an editor for hire - check me out at

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