To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now

Parramatta Eels Secure Historic Victory In First Ever NRLW Game

| Last updated 

Parramatta Eels Secure Historic Victory In First Ever NRLW Game

By Danielle Smith

The Parramatta Eels have beaten the Newcastle Knights with a thrilling 13-12 victory, in the first NRLW game for both clubs in their inaugural year in the competition.

The game was the third in a fantastic triple header in the opening round of the season, and it seems the most exciting match was left until last.

With the scores locked at 12-a-piece with only a minute left on the clock, both teams were exhausted and running on emotion and adrenaline. It was Maddie Studdon who ended up splitting the difference and earned her place in the history books, kicking the first field goal in NRLW history to secure a first ever win for the Eels.


The Knights lead the match early with Newcastle captain Romy Teitzel opening the scoring in the third minute and getting her team's first ever four-pointer. Charntay Poko added the extras, giving the Knights a 6-0 lead.

A couple of disallowed tries for the Eels kept them scoreless as the Knights held onto their lead deep into the first half.

It wasn't until the 31st minute that Parramatta got on the scoreboard, with two stars of the game linking up for the Eels' first try.


Bo Vette-Welsh busted through the defensive line and passed the ball on to Tiana Penitani to cross for the blue and gold. Studdon converted the try, taking the score to 6-6 at the half-time break.

Mirroring the start of the first half, the Knights crossed early, this time in the way of local hero Phoebe Desmond. Parramatta captain Simaima Taufa returned serve in the 51st minute. With all goal kickers on point today, the scores remained 12-12 until Studdon broke the deadlock right at the death.

Eels' fullback Vette-Welsh was one of the best players on the field. Heavily involved, she made the most line breaks and ran the most metres for either side.


Penitani and Kennedy Cherrington also played well in their first hit outs in the blue and gold, but their captain Taufa was a shining light in her team's victory. Doing everything you could ask for in a captain, scoring a try and leading the tackle count across the board with 44.

Eels coach Dean Widders spoke highly of his skipper in the press conference.

"She was enormous out there today... she just kept working... didn't stop. At the toughest of times on the field she came up with the biggest of plays," Widders said after the game.

"That's where the women's game is going, and that's what a lot of our young girls in that Parramatta dressing shed - they got a lesson in that today off probably one of the best in the game to do it. And that's probably the pleasing thing for us is to take away the two points and to take away the lessons that we will learn from the game too.



While happy with the win, Widders admits there is still a long way to go.

"I thought we were really good at times, but we just weren't clinical enough to really get the job done well."

Knights captain Teitzel also put in a superb effort, scoring a try and finishing with the most metres run and line breaks for her team. Newcastle forward Caitlin Johnson continued her strong dominance on the field, heavily involved throughout the game.


Ball control and fifth tackle options will be the focus at training this week for both teams, with handling errors, forward passes and missed opportunities creeping into the game from either side.

"I think we put ourselves in positions so many times to win that game and put that game to bed," Knights coach Casey Bromilow said.

"There were a few times there... I don't know if it was inexperience or lack of confidence, but some players at time just came up with some poor errors.

"I can't fault their effort today... across the board every single player across the park ripped in and gave everything... but we just probably lacked a bit of polish."

With the match not only being the first hit out for the Eels and the Knights teams in the NRLW, but for many who pulled on a jersey today, it was a solid effort from both clubs that everyone should be proud of.

Parramatta will face St George Illawarra Dragons and the Knights meet the reining premiers the Brisbane Broncos next Sunday in round two.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@nrlw/@theparraeelsnrlw

Topics: Highlights, Parramatta Eels, Rugby League, nrl, Australia, NRLW

More like this

Chosen for YouChosen for You


Thai footballer was banned for three years for brutal Muay Thai elbow attack on opponent

a few seconds ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Newcastle fans accuse former Sunderland player Don Goodman of 'fixing' Carabao Cup draw

3 hours ago