THE LEAGUE LADY: Women’s NRL Nines Preview

The NRL Nines is back after a three-year hiatus, and this year features more women’s rugby league than ever. Prepare for two days of action-packed footy, displaying the best of current and up-and-coming female talent.

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Teams will have nine players take the field at a time, with five unlimited interchange players. Halves will be nine minutes with a two-minute half time. A draw at full time will see a five-minute Golden Try period for qualifying rounds, and unlimited Golden Try period during finals. Play will be restarted by a dropkick after scoring, and a tap restart will take place after 40/20s. There will be one on-field referee, two touch judges and two in-goal judges, but no video referee, and sin bins will be three minutes.

While the men’s teams will be divided into four pools, with the top two from each progressing to
finals, the lack of teams results in the women’s being a similar format to the NRLW. Each team will play each other once, with the top two progressing to the grand final.

Friday (AEST):
7:05pm: Warriors vs Roosters
10:55pm: Dragons vs Broncos

Saturday (AEST):
1:20pm: Roosters vs Broncos
1:45pm  Warriors vs Dragons
7:20pm: Broncos vs Warriors
7:45pm: Dragons vs Roosters
9:25pm: Final


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The Broncos have produced their usual star-studded lineup, with 11 of their players from their premiership-winning squad, lead by two-time premiership captain Ali Brigginshaw. New players include Jayme Fressard, Hayley Maddick, Tanika Marshall and Tahlulah Tillett.

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With five Kiwi Ferns players from the side that beat the Jillaroos in last year’s World Cup 9s, and only seven from the 2019 NRLW campaign, this Warriors outfit could be a surprise package. Rising French star Laur’eane Biville is a player to watch after moving to Australia last year.

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The inclusion of Isabelle Kelly boosts the Dragons side significantly, which already features 13
players from last year’s grand final, and a successful campaign may see her in the red and white for the 2020 NRLW season. The return of co-captain Sam Bremner should also be a great addition to the Dragons’ spine.

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Captained by Corban McGregor, the Roosters squad features stars from the NRLW campaign
such as Kirra Dibb, Simaima Taufa and Kiana Takairangi. Watch for debutant Courtney Hill, who was a stand out in the Women’s Super League and is now challenging herself down under.

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My Prediction
While all four teams have produced solid squads, I think the Dragons might finally have the edge
needed to take out their first trophy. They would have taken a lot out of their grand final loss, and Isabelle Kelly’s X-factor might be the final piece of the puzzle.

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