Roosters ready to crow in historic derby
They may be friends off the playing field but when it comes to the first Australian NRLW stand-alone match between Sydney Roosters and St George Illawarra Dragons players at Leichhardt Oval this Sunday all bets are off.
Sports newest cross town rivalry will be given added spice in the historic Holden women's premiership match at a ground steeped in rugby league history.
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Sunday's tussle is being used to test the waters of fan support for the newest women's league in the country while providing the best female players in the world with a new theatre to showcase their skills.
"It's an opportunity for the women to have their own game and build an audience," NRL Women's Elite Program general manager Tiffany Slater said.
The ground breaking decision follows on from the success of the stand-alone women's Origin match at North Sydney Oval in June.
It's important for the young girls and boy watching to know that NRL is for everyone and that it brings families and communities together
This match attracted a television audience of over 1.5m people on Channel 9 alone and a crowd in excess of 10,000 who marched in record numbers to the game won by the Blues.
"We are thinking about what we can do differently. What we have learnt from other elite programs and the State of Origin which sold out North Sydney Oval and was great with TV ratings.
"While this is very different, it does show what happens when women have their own events."
Sydney Roosters gun Simaima Taufa-Kautai said the match will pit teams with plenty to prove.
"Only one of us can be the best team in Sydney,'' she said.
"It will be a great game of football.
"It's important for the young girls and boy watching to know that NRL is for everyone and that it brings families and communities together.''
Australian Jillaroos and Dragons captain Kezie Apps said the crowd will be in for a treat with much on the line for both sides.
"Coming off the last year where they beat us to get to the grand final, that makes it even more intense," she said.
"We are all friends off the field. It's not in our nature not to be. But when we are playing that goes out the window. We want to smash them.
"There's always that extra something in a local derby."
Apps said crowd support is crucial for the sport to convince the NRL the current four team, four week women's competition needs to be expanded to meet player and fan demand.
The low price of $10 for adults with children under 15 free is the perfect opportunity for both fans and the general public to get a taste of the newest women's competition in Australia.
NRLW round three
St George Illawarra Dragons v Sydney Roosters, Leichhardt Oval