The NRLW is back and it was a Queensland derby between the Gold Coast Titans and the North Queensland Cowboys that saw one player steal the show.
That one player was Titans fullback Evania Pelite who produced a masterclass to help the Titans to an opening 16-6 win.
With 248 metres, 15 tackle breaks, 1 try and 2 tries, the Cowboys had no answer for one of the game’s best fullbacks.
It would be the Cowboys who opened the scoring, however, as Emma Manzelmann made history with the Cowboys first try.
Manzelmann, playing at hooker, darted out from dummy half and split the defence to score.
The Titans had a few early chances that were denied by the Cowboys including a disallowed try to Destiny Mino-Sinapati.
Though their points would come later when veteran prop Steph Hancock produced some good work to eventually put Mino-Sinapati over the line.
Two more tries were disallowed; one to the Cowboys’ Kirra Dibb and the Titans’ Chantay Kiria-Ratu.
The second half started with some errors before Pelite busted the game wide open when she spotted a gap on the right and coasted through to score.
The Cowboys would then go down a player when Mia Middleton was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle.
On the cusp of her return, the Titans would put the game to bed when Zara Canfield tapped quickly off a penalty and ran 30m to score.
The Titans win was dampened by the loss of half Taliah Fuimaono who suffered an ankle injury.
Cowboys coach Ben Jeffries praised his side’s overall effort but knows that completion has to improve.
“I can’t fault their effort when they were down to twelve players, they were courageous in defeat, but I think we needed to be better around our sets, probably completion rate,” said Jeffries.
Titans coach Karyn Murphy expressed to her side how important a first-up win was with a longer season ahead.
“Definitely happy to get the win, we spoke about how important it was to get a good start to this season, although it’s a longer competition, obviously every win is important,” said Murphy.
Gold Coast Titans 16 (Mino-Sinapati, Pelite, Canfield; Goals: Brown 1, Kiria-Ratu 1) def. North Queensland Cowboys 6 (Manzelmann. Goals: Dibb 1).
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Evania Pelite (GLD)
2. Shaniah Power (NQL)
1. Shannon Mato (GLD)