Killarney forward wins first women’s origin award
RUGBY LEAGUE: Killarney forward Stephanie Hancock is the inaugural winner of the Harvey Norman Women’s Representative Player of the Year.
Hancock showed plenty of class off the bench in the first women’s State of Origin game this season at North Sydney Oval.
While Hancock has been talking about retirement, she is now thinking of playing on.
The move to a State of Origin format and the new women’s competition between four NRL teams has boosted interest in the sport from players, officials and fans.
Hancock and fellow former Warwick area schoolgirl Heather Ballinger will both start as props for the Brisbane Broncos in games as part of the NRL finals series.
Both will play for Brisbane against Papua New Guinea in a curtain-raiser to the Brisbane/ Manly game on Sunday.
Ipswich Jets skipper Nathaniel Neale received the inaugural Petero Civoniceva Medal as the best and fairest player in the Intrust Super Cup.
The 29-year-old former Rabbitohs forward polled maximum votes in Ipswich’s final-round match to finish on 30 points, two clear of exciting Sunshine Coast Falcons hooker Harry Grant.
Neale’s late season charge was mirrored by the form of his own team, which snatched the sixth and final spot in the semifinals on the back of the Round 24 victory.
The final Civoniceva Medal points (voted on by referees on a 3-2-1 basis after each game) were revealed in front of more than 350 guests at Brisbane City Hall on Wednesday night.
Neale and Grant were runaway leaders for most of the season, with Jake Clifford (Pride, 19), Zach Dockar-Clay (Blackhawks, 16) and Billy Walters (Tigers, 16) also in the mix.