Ladies league tag will be front and centre of sporting action in the Hunter on Sunday, with a bumper triple-header of matches set to steal the show at Maitland Sportsground for the Women in League round.
The league tag division is in its second year in the Newcastle Rugby League competition, with CEO Matt Harris saying the women’s game was going from strength-to-strength.
“You’ve only got to turn the television on to see the explosion in the female sporting world,” he said at Maitland Sportsground on Wednesday.
“Rugby league and league tag is a great example of that.”
The Women in League round will see six of the Newcastle Rugby League’s tag teams play one after another at Maitland from midday Sunday.
For Coalfields players Renae Trow (Kurri Kurri), Breanna Lacy (Maitland) and Tiffany White (Cessnock) the day is about more than just the sport.
“It’s not about us, it’s about the women in the game,” Cessnock’s White said.
“Most clubs might be run by men, but it’s the women who are the backbone behind a lot of it,” added Kurri player Trow.
All three players agreed the league tag variant of the game had enjoyed a growth spurt in its second season.
“It’s a lot bigger, there’s heaps more interest in it than last year,” Maitland’s Lacy said.
The trio agreed that one of the best parts of the triple-header was being able to watch the other teams play.
“We’re usually playing at the same time, so it’s a good opportunity to mingle with the other players,” White said.
Hosts Maitland will kick off against Souths at 12, followed by a Coalfields derby between Kurri and Cessnock at 1pm and finishing with Wests versus Lakes at 2pm.
Kurri, Cessnock and Maitland occupy seventh, sixth and fifth place on the ladder respectively, but given the tightness of the competition, all teams are still a chance at snagging a top five position and a semi final berth.
Harris said the day was about “putting the focus on the female game” and “making it a bit of a spectacle”.
He added that the matches were an opportunity for all the sides to play at “one of the premier grounds in country rugby league”, Maitland Sportsground.
Another recent addition to the women’s game has been the formation this year of the Female Participation Committee by the Newcastle Rugby League.
“The focus of that is taking a look at where we can expand the game, whether it be branching into tackle and representative opportunities down the track,” Harris said.