In what shapes as an exciting weekend for Women’s rugby league, the biggest match of the round features two teams representing the districts of the two clubs recently denied entry into the inaugural Women’s NRL Premiership.
While in the Tarsha Gale Cup, the next batch of women’s stars will be on show when the Sharks take on the Illawarra Steelers in a clash of the two standout teams in the under-18s competition.
On Saturday at the Sharks Academy Field at Cronulla High School, it’s the Cronulla Caringbah Sharks, up against the South Sydney Rabbitohs in a matchup between the two form teams of the Harvey Norman NSWRL Women’s Premiership.
The Cronulla Caringbah Sharks were comprehensive winners in their round two match against Wentworthville last weekend, racking up an incredible 108-0 score-line in an emphatic display of the class they possess in their side.
Not wanting to rub any further salt into the wounds of the Magpies, Cronulla Caringbah player Kate Mullaly preferred to praise the efforts of her team.
“They are a new team, but we played really well,” Mullaly said. “We didn’t make any mistakes in the first half.”
The Sharks scored 20 tries on the day, four from New Zealand World Cup rep Nita Maynard, four to Jillaroos forward Talesha Quinn and three each to Shontelle Stowers and Ruan Sims.
Jordan Baker kicked 12 goals, to go along with two tries, for a 30-point haul.
The victory came on the back of a hard-fought 22-20 win over Penrith Brothers in the opening round.
As impressive as the Cronulla Caringbah girls have been, the Rabbitoh women have been equally imposing through their first two matches.
Souths registered a 54-4 win over Newcastle in round one, followed by a 46-8 thumping of the Bulldogs last week.
It sets up a mount-watering contest between the two teams seemingly destined to fight out the 2018 NSWRL Women’s Premiership.
“Souths have won both of their games as well, against tough opposition, so it should be a good close game,” Mullaly added.
However as good as the senior women’s game is likely to be, the action may be even more spectacular when the Sharks and Steelers come together in a round nine Tarsha Gale match.
Two teams featuring the future stars of the women’s rugby league, the Sharks and Steelers have won every game they have contested so far in 2018, more often than not by lopsided margins.
Against another of the previously unbeaten teams in the Wests Tigers, the Sharks ran out 46-16 winners last Friday morning and while wary of the opposition this week, head into a game set to decide the minor premiership, full of confidence.
“We have a couple of little injuries, but hopefully we’ll be right for next week against Illawarra,” Tarsha Gale Sharks coach Colin Dodd said last weekend immediately following his team’s win.
“We’ve got a lot of belief in the side and the support base around us has really helped the girls. We’ll go out and keep doing what we’ve been doing and hopefully get that win to get the minor premiership.”
The Cronulla Caringbah Sharks v South Sydney NSWRL Women’s Premiership match is scheduled for a 2.00pm kick-off on Saturday at the Sharks Academy Fields, while the Tarsha Gale match is set down for a 9.00am start at WIN Stadium in Wollongong.