St George Illawarra Dragons Women’s NRL Nines captain Alicia Kate-Hawke admits she was beaming with happiness after leading the Club.
The Dragons skipper was the inaugural captain of the women’s team who took part in the narrow 16-12 by the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks at Southern Cross Group Stadium, Cronulla recently.
The local Corrimal player, who can play halfback or fullback, confides she was full of smiles after being given the opportunity to represent the Club and is proud of the efforts made by all her teammates despite the result.
The Dragons’ Women’s NRL Nines squad comprised of many of the best female players from across the Women in Defence Illawarra League and provides a new dimension to the extensive pathways already available to aspiring players.
“I can’t take the smile off my face and I’ve been running back to the girls with sore cheeks as I’ve been smiling all day,” said Hawke.
“I’ve was so pumped for the game and had family and friends in attendance as all the other girls did so playing for the Dragons meant everything.
“It is a massive achievement for all women in league as well as the Dragons for getting behind us and for each individual player involved too.
“We knew we were taking on a really big side which included five Jillaroos and a number of NSW players as well as CRL so there weren’t too many players on the opposition who hadn’t played representative football before.
“We didn’t have that but we knew that we were there to play together so we tried to draw on each other’s strengths and we spoke before the game about just relaxing and doing what we can do while sticking to our structure and it did well for us.
“There are a lot of girl playing in the Women in Defence Illawarra League week in and week out who are working really hard so to give them an opportunity to be involved in a representative game and allow them to be recognised is fantastic.
“The first half of the game flew by so we spoke at halftime about digging in deep but unfortunately it slipped away towards the end.
“We were really happy with the way we came together as a team these past few weeks and looking forward to the next time.
“There was nothing but publicity throughout the build-up tot het game which we were really happy about and we are happy that that publicity has gone all the way up to the NRL who are getting behind us.
“Our local competition is drumming up some business there but to hear it spoken of at such a high level makes us feel like we’re really being appreciated and that’s what we want to see for the future women’s league.”