KICKOFF has long supported and marveled at the rapid growth of the women’s game. It’s come so far in such quick time, but we’re not entirely sure organisation around the representative schedule has kept pace.
It was fantastic to see an Illawarra-dominated Country side take out Women’s National Championship two weeks ago.
These championships must continue, but whether it should be played in its entirety over three days is a different question. Whether it should happen so close to State of Origin is another
The Country side that took the field for the final on day three was missing a host of big-names including Jillaroos Kezie Apps and Rikeya Horne, among others, through injury.
Ruan Sims finished with a broken hand that has ruled her out of next week’s Origin, while Nakia Davis-Welsh is carrying an ankle injury into camp. A number of other contenders were also ruled out through injuries.
It doesn’t serve the game at all to have stars missing from its showpiece game. The recent World Cup also crammed games into an unreasonably tight schedule.
It’s now quite apparent that the standard has become too high, the matches too intense, to play on consecutive days – let alone three.
As good as the national championships were, future scheduling needs to account for the rapid leap in standard and professionalism.