Ahead of the Sharks Round 9 Harvey Norman Women in League match against the Warriors, we look back at a clash against the New Zealand side played on this day, a decade ago.
May 7, 2005: The high-flying Sharks took a home game to Perth to face the Warriors, co-incidentally, in a Round 9 fixture.
In winning in six matches inside the competition’s first eight rounds, the Cronulla side appeared to have surrendered the two points.
Down by eight points with 16 minutes to play, the side needed to lift – and quickly.
Inspired by David Peachey’s earlier four-pointer, that’s exactly what they did. Late tries to Nigel Vagana and Adam Dykes turned the game, with the Sharks running out eventual 28-24 victors.
Peachey’s try was just one of the 110 he amassed during his time at Cronulla, in a career in the Shire that spanned across 12 seasons.
In his time at the club, Peachey claimed a host of individual prizes when at the peak of his powers, having been named the Dally M Fullback of the Year in the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
The 2001 Dally M Captain of the Year played 232 games in the black, white and blue, before pursuing his career abroad and then, at the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
The NSW and Australian representative praised the role of women in his life, and gave credit to their influences in forging him into the player he was.
“Having that family structure, and the support of my mum being a big part of that, I think when you look you’ll see that a lot of women play vital roles within the game,” said Peachey.
“For me it was a huge influence, and when we’re looking out there, you see all those volunteers and people behind the scenes that don’t often get the recognition they deserve.
“But they play a big part behind the scenes, and now up front, which is a good thing in having the women at the forefront of making decisions.”
Retiring from the game at the end of the 2007 season, Peachey is now an NRL ambassador.
Delivering messages to the community – not least that of the role of women in the game – Peachey says he works to address issues in the game to encourage female participation.
“It’s about addressing the issues rather than being re-active – we are being pro-active with a lot of the work that the NRL, and myself, delivers,” he said.
“With the programs that we deliver, it gives the young girls an opportunity to see first-hand what it is that we’re talking about.
“The bullying, and social media issues, and all that stuff that is relevant in society today. I think we have a vehicle like Rugby League to be able to deliver those messages, and that’s what I enjoy about it.”
Working out of Rugby League Central, Peachey has seen the influence of the game’s Chief Operating Officer Suzanne Young and the Bulldogs CEO, Raelene Castle.
Peachey said it was important and necessary to see women making decisions in the game, and that ultimately, it starts at a grassroots level.
“These are key positions in a business now that is moving forward, and it’s great that we’re able to recognise the role of women – at all levels of the game – in a round,” he said.
“We know that there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes, and these women play a vital role in our game.”