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Farmduck

NRLW 2019 - will there be an expansion?

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Almost 500 schoolgirls from across the state converged on St Marys Stadium and the Kingsway playing fields in Greater Western Sydney for the 2018 Female State Finals Day, an event that celebrates and highlights the rise and rise of women’s Rugby League.  

The statewide competition for schoolgirls, in Under 12, Under 14, Under 16 and Under 18/ Open age categories, featured the top 32 teams in the four age groups who have qualified through local and regional events throughout terms two and three.

In total, 4571 girls from 325 teams have taken part in the qualifying rounds for the tournament which was staged as a stand-alone schoolgirls event for the first time last year as part of a joint initiative of the New South Wales Rugby League (NSWRL) and National Rugby League (NRL).

https://www.nswrl.com.au/news/2018/09/21/2018-state-schoolgirl-finals/

The relevance of this lies in the finalists:

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Our State Champions in each of the age groups were:

12s - Wiripaang PS 28 def Crawford PS 14

14s – Rooty Hill HS 16 def Hunter SHS 10

16s – St Agnes Catholic HS 24 def Cronulla HS 22

18s – Bass HS (10) drew with Chifley Senior College (10). First Try Scorer and crowned champions - Bass HS 

Any expansion in the NRLW needs to be gradual, IMO, because its biggest advantage currently is the high standard caused by concentrating all the available AUS/NZ talent into just 4 teams. Where should the next team(s) be?  Here's where the above finalists come in. Crawford PS, Rooty Hill HS, St Agnes, and Chifley College are all in Blacktown which is part of the Penrith District RL.

Bass HS is in Bass Hill, in Bankstown. Wiripaang and Hunter SHS are both in the Newcastle area.

 

A strong point in favour of a Newcastle team would be this from the Country RL

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The CRL Central Hunter Women’s 9’s will return bigger and better in October with over 80 teams expressing their interest to participate in the six-week competition.

The addition of Under-12’s to the existing Under-14/16/18 and Open-Age divisions; has been at the forefront of the increase with Newcastle, Central Coast, Maitland and Group 21 all anticipated to field sides in the competition.

http://crlnsw.com.au/crl-central-hunter-womens-9s-return-in-2018/

Look how many teams have nominated for the Seniors:

 

1840170958_hunterValleyWomen.thumb.png.1631b03129c9352cba0108ae21dbdee4.png

 

There are also 10 teams nominated for the 18s and 18 for the 16s. Apart from a couple of Central Coast teams these are all Hunter Valley teams. On top of that, the last NSW Senior Women's GF featured North Newcastle v Redfern All Blacks and many of those Norths players signed with the current 4 clubs in this year's NRLW. (Redfern players mainly signed with the Roosters.)

 

So, that's my vote. NRLW 2019 should expand to include Newcastle and Penrith.

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Six clubs applied to be part of the inaugural season. The two that missed out were Cronulla and Souths. So they will probably be front-runners for any expansion.

Beyond that, I'm sure other people in the game have been impressed with what they have seen this year and will want a part of it.


Millions long for immortality who don't know what to do with themselves on a rainy Sunday afternoon. (Susan Ertz)

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In the lead up to the current comp I advocated against having women's teams mirror existing NRL teams. Since one of the most popular whines is "there's too many teams in Sydney," I don't think we should simply translate the same problem over to a new comp. I don't see, in terms of players available, how we can have a strong Souths AND a string Easts. This year's Roosters team is largely made up of players from the Redfern All Blacks team. If Souths had got in instead of Roosters, we would have had virtually the same players in different jumpers.

I also can't see a strong St George AND a strong Cronulla. It may have been smarter to give the slot to Cronulla. St George-area girls could have joined Cronulla and South Coast players could aim for a future Canberra team.

I would be looking for a 2-team per year expansion.

I would also rig the draw to ensure the Warriors got a lot of home games next year. I know it hands them an advantage but these players need to appreciate that, at the current stage, there are important off-field goals which must be pursued.

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Yeah, I think one more Sydney team at most.

Melbourne, Nth Qld and Newcastle would be cool.

 

As long as it's slow enough to not dilute the talent.

 

They should pillage the 7's programs around the world too. 


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On 9/30/2018 at 9:46 PM, Pulga said:

Yeah, I think one more Sydney team at most.

Melbourne, Nth Qld and Newcastle would be cool.

 

As long as it's slow enough to not dilute the talent.

 

They should pillage the 7's programs around the world too. 

When all the details are crunched I think it will come down to the $$$. That will come down to the willingness of sponsors to get involved, which, of course, is related to the level of TV exposure and the availability of the players. I think there were at least 4 women in this year's comp who are members of the OZ Defence Forces. Given the desire to recruit more women into the ADF, I would see this as an ideal vehicle to promote recruitment. It could also tie into other Government promotions like the anti Domestic Violence campaigns or Aboriginal Education programmes.

With corporate sponsorship, it's a bit chicken-and-egg. The sponsorship might make it bigger but do companies want to pay for a product that isn't already big, when they have so many other options. In some ways this might be an argument for keeping it divorced from the current NRL team model. A non-NRL club, like North Sydney Leagues or Blacktown Workers could easily afford $2-3 million/year to run a women's team.

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Well they are getting better TV ratings than the soccer here and quite a few rugby union games.


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