NRL WA co-captain Kailey Thompson sees big future ahead for women’s rugby league after maiden title
The West Australian Fri, 28 May 2021 Nick Taylor
League side celebrate their championship win. Credit: Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos
NRL WA women have won their first ever national silverware in the inaugural National Rugby League championships.
They took the title in a thrilling 10-6, golden point, grand final win over the First Nations Gems after not conceding a single point in their previous games against a Defence Force side, the Gems and SA, NT and Victoria state sides.
Match-winning half-back and co-captain Kailey Thompson, who was named player of the tournament, hopes the win will lift the game in WA.
Thompson, an NRLWA development officer, and former Kiwi Ferns squad member said: “It’s massive for our game.
“It shows the pathway that we have in WA and gives those girls the opportunity to take their game a little bit further.
“Hopefully a few girls get a tap on the shoulder to get contracts and play over east.”
WA captain Kailey Thompson with her medal for Player of the Opens Tournament. Credit: Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos
The NRL restructured the competition this year and it was the first tine WA went as a stand alone team. They were part of a combined side playing against the bigger league-playing states.
“Our preparation wasn’t the greatest, we had a few hiccups with COVID and going over as WA for the first time we weren’t sure what our expectations were,” Thompson said.
“When we got there we were dominating and it was like ‘wow, we can take this out’.
“No points until we reached the grand final was pretty massive.
The girls were stoked and they should be.
“To go there, show how we can play and win the title was really cool.”
NRL WA has an eight-team women’s competition, the biggest since the tackle game was resurrected four seasons ago after years of league tag.