We had to wait for it but the NRLW did not disappoint. Big names, big hits, and fluid tries, the women continue to make their mark.
The three inaugural teams in the Gold Coast Titans, Newcastle Knights, and Parramatta Eels had mixed fortunes in round 1.
Though there is plenty to build on and more exciting action awaits us.
Round 1 delivered plenty of action and here is our wrap-up of it:
St George Illawarra Dragons v Gold Coast Titans
The Titans were adopted by many fans as their team for the NRLW and despite a strong showing, their second-half flurry was not enough to win.
Led by captain Georgia Hale and hooker Brittany Breayley-Nati, there is plenty to build on for the Titans as they look to reverse their fortunes this week.
The Dragons have, at times, struggled in the past in the NRLW but surprised many in this clash with their fluidity and cohesion.
Despite boasting several new faces and many young players, they found a way to come together to win.
The efforts of Rachel Pearson and rugby sevens convert Emma Tonegato were the brightest and will give the Dragons fans plenty of confidence.
The one true shining light for the Titans was Evania Pelite.
Another rugby sevens convert, Pelite’s ability was there for all to see during her stint at the New Zealand Warriors, and she showed it again.
A pure, natural runner, Pelite looked dangerous with every carry and will no doubt continue to apply pressure to defences.
St George Illawarra Dragons: 20 (Berry 2, Bartlett & Dodd; Goals: Pearson 2) def. Gold Coast Titans: 12 (Raftstrand-Smith & Mato; Goals: Clark 2).
NRL News Player of the Game:
3. Rachael Pearson (SGI)
2. Evania Pelite (GLD)
1. Emma Tonegato (SGI)
Sydney Roosters v Brisbane Broncos
Boasting two of the top centres in the female game, big things were expected of Isabelle Kelly, Jess Sergis, and the Roosters.
Unfortunately for them, they just could not get out of the blocks fast enough to mount consistent patches of form together, and instead, the Broncos capitalised.
Debutant Emily Bass scored a double in her first NRLW game, as several other Broncos stars also stepped up.
Millie Boyle and Amber Hall in particular laid the platform, as they have done in the past for the Broncos.
That made life easier for livewire fullback Tamika Upton and her fellow backs to help dictate and control the tempo of the game.
The shining light for the Roosters was Olivia Kernick who nabbed her team’s only try and topped the tackle count for the Roosters.
Brisbane Broncos 20 (Bass 2, Murdoch & Boyle; Goals: Brown 2) def. Sydney Roosters 4 (Kernick).
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Millie Boyle (BRI)
2. Tamika Upton (BRI)
1. Shenae Ciesiolka (BRI)
Newcastle Knights v Parramatta Eels
Both teams playing in their inaugural NRLW games and for the Knights, the chance to do it at home clearly galavanised them.
The two teams engaged in a tough, physical contest, that left plenty of bumps and bruises for the women on both sides.
The ascendancy changed numerous times in the game but sustained periods by the Eels in their attacking half could have made the scoreline greater.
Their execution ultimately let them down.
Despite the Knights’ loss, the effort was there and they proved that they will not be easy beats.
The big talking point, though? The first-ever field goal was kicked in the NRLW by Eels’ half Maddie Studdon.
It was the decisive winner and the Eels got their NRLW campaign started on the right track.
Simaima Taufa, the Eels captain, carried the side on her back.
Botille Vette-Welsh again showed her class as one of the NRLW’s premium fullbacks with another masterful display.
Parramatta Eels 13 (Penitani, Taufa; Goals: Studdon 2; Field Goals: Studdon 1) def. Newcastle Knights (Teitzel, Desmond; Goals: Poko 1, Dibb 1).
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Simaima Taufa (PAR)
2. Romy Teitzel (NEW)
1. Botille Vette-Welsh (PAR)