By Casey O'Connor
On Sunday at Olympic Stadium Steph Hancock added another rugby league achievement to her already impressive rugby league resume and wrote her name into the history of the NRWL. 36 year old Hancock played a significant role in the Broncos team that won the inaugural NRLW grand final. The Brisbane Broncos women’s side completed a clean sweep of the competition when they defeated the Roosters in impressive fashion the final score 34-12.
Hancock who came off the bench after 10 minutes really injected herself into the game and has said since that it was the most enjoyable rugby league game she has played – a big statement considering she has captained Queensland and Australia and won a World Cup in 2017.
Hancock had considered retirement but the opportunity to play with the Broncos was too big a lure and it has paid off in spades.
Hancock now has an inaugural premiership ring and the icing on the cake was her announcement the Australian Jillaroos side to play the Kiwi Ferns on October 13. She will be joined by Broncos team mate and Scots PGC student heather Ballinger.
The success of the NRWL competition is sure to give women’s rugby league a real boost and the four NRL club’s who played in the short season all have fie year licences. At this point there are no plans for immediate expansion of the competition despite its popularity.
Anyone watching the NRLW grand final should have been impressed by the standard and intensity of the football not so much the commentary. It was left to Jo Barrett a former player who also hails from the region to fill in the gaps for her clearly under prepared male counterparts. Well done Jo, great call.