It was a ground-breaking season, the first for the Sharks and a preview of what will hopefully build into a successful Women’s NRL competition.
The Sharks led the way in 2017, the Tarsha Gale under-18 girls getting the ball rolling in that competition’s inaugural season, before the open age Sharks Women’s team played a series of opponents throughout the year.
The Tarsha Gale team enjoyed some outstanding moments throughout a season which shadowed the boys Junior Representative calendar, with the youngsters progressing to week two of the finals.
The senior Sharks then opened their season with a game in Canberra against the Raiders, before hosting nine-a-side matches at Southern Cross Group Stadium, played in front of healthy and enthusiastic crowds immediately prior to the kick-off of Sharks NRL games.
Coached by Jason Stanton, the Sharks Women lost just once, winning seven times, as they played a physical, yet entertaining brand of rugby league.
Experienced stars and Jillaroos such as Ruan Sims, Corban McGregor and Alana Ferguson led the way, while the Sharks also unearthed some exciting new talent along the way.
In all it was an outstanding season for all concerned, as celebrated at the 2017 Presentation Night.
Speedster Botille Vette-Welsh was a consistent performer and a worthy winner of the Player of the Year, Jess Stergis, a three-try hero in the NSW Origin win over Queensland, the Sharks Women’s Rugby League Rookie of the Year.
Hardworking hooker-half Nita Maynard (Players Player), team captain Ruan Sims (Best Forward) and Jillaroos outside back Corban McGregor (Best Back) also took home awards.
Former Western Sydney Wanders Soccer player Jordan Baker made a seamless transition to rugby league and was the season’s highest point scorer, while hard-running newcomer Shontelle Stowers the top try scorer.
A number of Tarsha Gale awards were also handed out, with Akira Kelly as Player of the Year and Tayla Preston the Players Player, taking home the major prizes.
The playing squads from both the Women’s Series team and Tarsha Gale, staff, family and friends, as well as a number of media representatives attended an event Mc’d by Fox Sports personality Jessica Yates.
Women’s Rugby League awards:
Women’s Rugby League Player of the Year: Botille Vette-Welsh
Women’s Rugby League Rookie of the Year: Jessica Sergis
Women’s Rugby League Players Player: Nita Maynard
Women’s Rugby League Forward of the Year: Ruan Sims
Women’s Rugby League Back of the Year: Corban McGregor
Women’s Rugby League Top Point scorer: Jordan Baker
Women’s Rugby League Top Try scorer: Shontelle Stowers
Tarsha Gale Cup Awards:
Tarsha Gale Cup Player of the Year: Akira Kelly
Tarsha Gale Cup Players Player: Tayla Preston
Tarsha Gale Cup Forward of the Year: Temukisa Ioane
Tarsha Gale Cup Back of the Year: Quincy Dodd
Tarsha Gale Cup Top Try scorer: Tayla Preston
Lead photo - Player of the Year, Botille Vette-Welsh