THEY were playing on home soil and it showed, with the Jillaroos Illawarra crop all playing starring roles in their side's 28-8 win over the Kiwi Ferns on Friday.
Shakiah Tungai produced a memorable debut with a try and four goals for a personal tally of 12 points, while Kezie Apps showed up when it mattered with the match-sealing try 13 minutes from time.
Jess Sergis had a crucial try and was player of the match, adding to a hefty list of accolades this season, while Keeley Davis was also outstanding at hooker in he run-on debut. It left coach Brad Donald singing their praises post-match.
"We got along to a function at Steelers [club] on Wednesday night and met Julie McDuffie and Tarsha Gale for the first time," Donald said.
"Our history is very important, these women understand that not many women get the chance to play Test match footy in their own region and those girls had massive games."
Donald was particularly proud of debutant Tungai, who's gone from NRLW rookie to Test star in 12 months.
"Shak was fantastic, what a player," Donald said.
"We took her to the Prime Minister's (XIII) last year and she had a couple of tries, she's got skill, she's humble, she's everything that the jumper's about.
"She's been fantastic, she said she expected the hill to be filled with all her family today, a proud indigenous lady from this region.
"She said if all the mob aren't on the hill this afternoon she'd be very surprised. We're just so proud of her and what she's done."