WOMEN IN LEAGUE: Andrea Steele, Ebony Smith and Joanne Alexander are acknowledged for their contribution to rugby league.
WOMEN IN LEAGUE: Andrea Steele, Ebony Smith and Joanne Alexander are acknowledged for their contribution to rugby league. Matt Collins

Special round honours women in league

RUGBY LEAGUE: Embracing women's roles in rugby league was the key message during the Nanango Stags versus Cherbourg Hornets games on Saturday.

The women in league celebrations were part of the day's activities in Nanango which included rides for the kids and a half time $150 kick for cash.

Sponsorship and merchandise coordinator for the Nanango Stags, Nadean McQuarrie said it was important to recognised the great work women do in rugby league.

"Whether they are players, referees or volunteers, woman play as much a part in sports as men do,” McQuarrie said.

Nanango stags were commended for being the only team in the South Burnett competition to acknowledge the women in league round.

Thanks to McDonalds and CocaCola, every junior player was presented with purple shorts to wear on the day to create awareness of women in league.

McDonalds Kingaroy owner, Andrea Steele who has donated over $8000 for the Nanango Rugby League club said it was great to be a part of South Burnett sport.

"We do it to support the kids, it's great to see them all out there running around and having fun,” Steele said.

Joanne Alexander from JoJo's Fit4Life in Nanango wears many hats at the Nanango Stags rugby league club.

She is a sponsor, a first aid officer, her son plays for the stags and her husband referees the games when he isn't away with his work.

She is proud of her family's involvement with the Nanango club and said she felt humbled by the acknowledgement as part of the women in league round.

"We just enjoy coming along to the games. It's just a brilliant family day out, the club is like one big family,” Alexander said.

Steele and Alexander along with Ebony Smith from Nanango hairdressing salon, Hairdoo4U were presented with a commemorative jersey by the captains from the opposing teams before kick off in the main game.

Smith said she had been a proud supporter of the club for nearly four years.

"I went to school with a lot of the players and their mums are clients of mine so it is good to give back to the community that supports you,” Smith said.

On the field, there was no love lost between the two rival sides.

Nanango were the stronger team in the first half in a very physical encounter which saw the referee stop the game on several occasions to talk to the captains about the heavy tackles and other misdemeanours.

In the second half, the Cherbourg Hornets started to gel together as a team and showed some tremendous efforts in defence.

But the Nanango Stags were up for the challenge and their strong attacking raids close to the Cherbourg line paid dividends.

By full time, the boistrous crowd was provided with much more than their money's worth with a point every minute and the Stags running away with the game winning 50-30.

In the other men's game, the Murgon Mustangs where far too classy for the undermanned but much loved Wondai Wolves team taking the win with a final score of 84-28.

Nanango will not host any more games until the much anticipated grand final day.

Stags fans are very confident of their boys holding the trophy aloft come presentation time.

As we look to the finals, teams that finish first and second will play in the major semi, whilst third and fourth will play in a knock-out semi final.