Kil­lar­ney for­ward wins first women’s ori­gin award

Warwick Daily News - - SPORT -

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.

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