Who will be the next Brittany Breayley?
Who will be the next Brittany Breayley? Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Standalone women's Origin the correct call

I HAVE seen some people question the NRL's decision to schedule the inaugural State of Origin women's match as a standalone fixture, instead of running it as a curtain raiser to the men's match on Sunday evening.

"The NRL have dropped the ball" wrote one person. "Why not guarantee they play in front of a big crowd?" questioned another.

Because at some point, the women's game needs to be able to branch off and be capable of sustaining itself as a separate entity.

So long as a women's State of Origin is viewed as a 'curtain raiser', those women will never be seen through the same lens as the men.

The NRL has taken giant strides towards equality between the sexes in their competition.

And while there is still a significant road ahead, Friday night's clash at North Sydney Oval is another prime example of things done right.

Give the women their own time slot. On prime time television, completely removed from the male game.

Ali Brigginshaw agrees.

"The standalone game is the first live, free-to-air women's game in the history of rugby league," she said.

"We are the only game on Friday night, and we are not just a curtain raiser or a game played with delayed coverage.

"It's the next step in raising the profile of women's rugby league and it's perfectly timed in the lead-up to the first ever NRL women's competition."

Let the rugby league viewing public appreciate the feats of Brigginshaw, Breayley, House and Kuk in their maroons colours; just as we have done with Smith, Slater, Cronk and Thurston.

Smith was an inspiration to Breayley when she began playing rugby league. One day, hopefully, she can provide that inspiration to a girl aspiring to be an NRL star.

If you truly want to show your support for women's rugby league, tune in on Friday night and start to put faces to some of the soon to be household names.

Kick-off at North Sydney Oval is at 7.40pm, and can be watched on Channel 9, Fox Sports or via the NRL App.