This article was first written for and published for The Roar.
My favourite thing that happened in women’s sport this week was watching history being made in India when the first ever IPL Women’s T20 challenge took place in Mumbai.
I have to be honest, I didn’t really care about the result because the Supernovas and the Trailblazers each featured some of my favourite members of the Australian Women’s Cricket Team, but it was the Supernovas (7-130) who beat the Trailblazers (6-129) by three wickets.
No matter how much T20 cricket I watch, I always forget how quickly the game can change and it was certainly the case this time around. The Supernovas looked to be absolutely in control, but then lost a number of wickets in quick succession and they needed four runs from six balls with three wickets in hand. While Ellyse Perry could not find the boundary, Pooja Vastrakar from India managed to seal the win with a single off the final ball.
Despite the Trailblazers being stacked with talented batters like Alyssa Healy, Suzie Bates and Beth Mooney, the Supernovas were able to restrict them to 6-129. Our Australian women were in fine form – Megan Schutt took 2-18 and took the wickets of Aussie teammates Healy and Mooney (despite the replay showing that on the latter, Schutt had overstepped). Ellyse Perry took a catch and ended up on figures of 2-20.
While the Aussies were key for the Supernovas with ball in hand, the Supernovas did struggle to build momentum with the bat, with most players contributing some runs to their total. Mithali Raj (22 off 17) and Danni Wyatt (24 off 20) started off the innings. Harmanpreet Kaur and Sophie Devine were to follow with Harmanpreet scoring 21 and Sophie scoring 19.
This game was a big step towards the introduction of a women’s IPL in the next couple of years. Women from all over the world including Australia, New Zealand and England to join the Indian women for this game and it was the first time that a women’s game was played alongside a men’s Indian Premier League.
We could be one step closer to our Aussie women being able to play in the KIA Super League, the Indian IPL and then the WBBL in the summer.
What’s happening this weekend?
Round five of the Suncorp Super Netball is about to get underway.
After five rounds the West Coast Fever lead the competition on 28 points, followed by the Melbourne Vixens on 21 points, Giants Netball in third place on 20 points and the Queensland Firebirds rounding out the top four on 16 points.
It’s a big weekend in the competition with two top four showdowns and some teams being in a position where they must win in order to remain in touch with the top four.
The game I will have my eye on will be the game between Giants Netball and the Vixens on Sunday afternoon.
While the Vixens may have more points than Giants Netball, this comes down to bonus points. Each team has won three out of four of their opening games.
The other game I’ll be watching is between the reigning premiers the Sunshine Coast Lightning taking on the Adelaide Thunderbirds.
Despite keeping most of their Premiership winning squad last year, the Sunshine Coast slumped to start the season without a win from their first three fixtures. For the first time this season they have the opportunity to make it two wins in a row.
For the poor old Thunderbirds, they really need to win a game if they want to remain in contention for the Finals. Dan Ryan has tried almost every possible combination in his new roster and they desperately need to win a game.
What’s coming up next month?
History will be made in women’s rugby league next month when the first women’s State of Origin takes place at North Sydney Oval on Friday 22 June. This week marked one month before the historic clash and was celebrated with a launch at North Sydney.
There has been plenty of focus on the New South Wales Blues men’s team and whether they can break their drought. What many people forget is that the New South Wales women are going for their third win in a row (if we count the clash which preceded State of Origin, known as the Interstate Challenge) and if both the Blues men’s and women’s teams win this year, it will be the first time in history that this has happened.
Before we get to State of Origin though, there are a couple of other things happening in the women’s footy space too. At the moment, the state competitions are happening. Then next up on the Gold Coast are the Talent ID and National Championships.
All before the NRL Women’s Competition begins in September.
There has been plenty of talk about this inaugural competition like ‘why aren’t there more teams’ and ‘why didn’t more teams put in bids’.
If you are someone who is serious and passionate about women’s footy and think that it deserves extra support, then it really is time to prove it. Tickets are being sold to the Women’s State of Origin – pre purchased adult tickets are $10 and kids under 15 go in free. There’s nothing I want more than to see this game sold out – so help me get there.
Let’s cheer the NSW Blues home to victory.