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Australian Women's RL season postponed again

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"We are easily breakable, by illness or falling, or a million other ways of leaving this earthly life. We are just so much mashed potato."  Don Estelle

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In a weird twist, the bubble situation might be reversed by the time the NRLW kicks off. Palascuk is saying she wants to keep Qld borders closed until everyone, including children, has been vaxxed. Gladys has said that NSW will start re-opening as soon as we hit 80% vaxxed, which could be before the start of November, based on current vaxx rates.


The teams might all end up in bubbles in NSW, and Qld might be out of bounds,


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There`s some serious pushback and recrimination emerging against the NRL and their decision.

Former NRL.com employee and South Sydney player Katie Brown has a rant on Whooshkaa headlined -

"Katie Brown fired up with her letter to the NRL regarding the postponed NRLW competition".

A charge sheet comprising short-termism, insularity, backward-thinking, narrow-thinking, leaving players in the lurch, disregard and poor communication. Where have we heard all this before?

If it isn`t verboten to say so on this thread, what Katie neglects is that the conduct of the NRL is cut from the same cloth as the mad Covid policies of the State governments. 

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  • 1 month later...

There seems to be plenty of women`s sport happening in Oz. Two Australia v Brazil Soccer games and the Big Bash Cricket has been in full swing since the middle of the month.

Which begs an obvious question, why did the NRL push the NRLW back from October to January?

I have a suspicion they`re not yet sure when is the best time of year for the NRLW. Not just currently, but in the future.

Covid has afforded them a pretext to test the water by running it as a pre-NRL competition, same as the AFLW. Will be interesting to see how strongly they crank up the promotion in December. 

Biggest worry with January/February is the weather. What level of RL spectacle will be possible if temperatures are in the thirties?

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On the WSL Round-up thread someone floated the idea of Aussies/Kiwis playing over here short-term.

We already have Courtney Hill at Leeds, Sade Rihari at Huddersfield (in the UK because she`s the partner of Ata Hingano), and I believe there`s an Australian at Barrow (in the UK presumably for reasons other than RL).

When the NRLW was moved from October to January, it made me wonder about English players going the other way. They`d only be out there for a couple of months. Even if people had never heard of the player, if a club signed an England international it could generate some favourable publicity. Probably can`t happen due to mad Covid policies.

The only Englishwoman I`m aware of who`s across there trying to make the NRLW is Charlotte Booth, who broke her arm playing for Brisbane Easts in the opening round of this year`s BHP QLD premiership. Apparently, she`s now signed for South Sydney in next year`s NSW premiership, and will no doubt be hoping for a change of luck as well as scene.

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Australia v USA women`s Soccer game drew a 36k record crowd to Stadium Australia on Saturday.

The Jillaroos would struggle to get a tenth of that to a standalone fixture.

If the women`s RLWC had gone ahead this year, the NRL would have ensured the Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns didn`t participate.

Unthinkable that the governing body for Aussie Soccer would prevent the Matildas from playing in a WC or Olympics. They place a high value on international competition.

Real mystery how the Soccer teams visiting Oz and the RU teams visiting the UK all managed to overcome the "safety concerns" that so alarmed the NRL.

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On 28/11/2021 at 09:39, Futtocks said:


This website won`t let me read further than the first two lines. Although it`s eminently possible I could be doing something wrong.

From what I already know, there was a well-established women`s RU scene in the ACT long before RL started to take the women`s game seriously. So there was ground to be made up.

The Canberra region Ladies League Tag competition has been instrumental in growing female participation at junior league clubs. LLT is a significant advantage for League clubs where they`re vying with Union.

Could be mistaken, but I`m expecting the NRLW to stay at 6 teams in 2023. The next expansion will probably be to 8. Have to think they will want the Warriors back ASAP, which leaves the other licence between North Queensland, Melbourne, and Canberra. 

My guess is they`ll opt for Melbourne, partly to respond to AFLW incursions into NSW and QLD, and also because Canberra playing in the open-age NSW premiership might be deemed the better medium-term option. It would neatly align with the Raiders under-19s team in the Tarsha Gale Cup.

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The dead hand of delete and lock seems to have fallen on a number of general forum threads, including the one where mid-season internationals were under discussion, so I`ll post this observation here -

The crowds and TV ratings for women`s Soccer internationals in Straya are not much different from the men`s. If the NRL, RFL, and NZRL, can sufficiently grow the profile of women`s RL, we could have a 3-match Jillaroos test series every year, scheduled for either just before or just after Women`s SOO.

England and New Zealand could alternate. This would mean a trip down under every 2 years for our players. An attractive prospect and very important as we seek to prevent our female players gravitating to RU. The Jillaroos and Kiwi Ferns could reciprocate with tours in our autumn. 

Presently, it might not look affordable, but that`s primarily because all RL governing bodies have been late to the women`s sport party.

The NRL missed a trick through the noughties. When the Jillaroos triumphed in the 2013 WC, it should have been perceived as a climactic event, overturning 15-20 years of Kiwi Fern dominance. As it was, nobody noticed. And by the time the NRL started encouraging people to notice, the Jillaroos were the top side. Which plays into the Australian public`s assumptions that RL is an Aussie game and that NRLW and Women`s SOO are therefore the only real deal.

The RFL missed their trick in 1996 when GB Lionesses first toured Oz and beat the Jillaroos 2-1 in a Test series. Should have been a significant moment, should have been built upon. But again, nobody was paying attention, and we`ve subsequently fallen behind the Aussies. Doubtful whether a series would currently be competitive.

Long-term however, I believe the potential exists for a strong international women`s RL scene, characterized by regular well-supported fixtures. Three teams vying for supremacy isn`t ideal, more would be better, but SOO manages to be a big annual drawcard with only two teams involved.

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