Reds women to take on Broncos in touch exhibition for bushfire relief

Super W
by Emma Greenwood

The Reds women will take on the Broncos in a touch football clash to help raise funds for bushfire victims.

The women will play an exhibition match on Saturday at the Redlands Rugby Bush Fire Fundraiser competition, a touch tournament that has attracted a full compliment of teams in men’s and mixed competition to raise funds for those affected by the fires.

The Reds and Broncos will face off in an exhibition match at 1pm on January 18, at Birkdale’s Judy Holt Park in a clash that could become an annual fixture.

Reds and former Australian sevens player Amy Turner, who won an NRLW premiership with the Broncos last season and Virtue were approached by Redlands who suggested the exhibition match.

“Amy’s been a part of Broncos and (the Reds) and she asked me and I said that’d be cool,” Virtue said.

“But it could be a good thing annually.”

The Reds and Broncos men joined forces before Christmas for a joint training session and Virtue said the women’s teams coming together could signal a new era of cooperation between the sides.

“It’s just supporting each other and women in sport,” Virtue said.

“We’ve got a few girls away but they should have a pretty good side. But we’re not too worried, we’ve got some of our forwards in there playing.”

Virtue, a former elite player herself, will also pull on the boots on Saturday to guide her troops on the field.

“It will just be good to practice our skills under pressure a bit defensively with a group that doesn’t know us,” Virtue said.

“But we’re predominately doing it just to help out and fundraise and do what we can and have a bit of fun.

“But we obviously don’t want to lose.”

The hit-out will provide a good training run for the Reds, who have a round Super W bye in the opening round before heading to Perth to take on the Rugby WA women, where they need to be able to hit the ground running.

They have another game up their sleeves before that though.

“We’re quite lucky because we’ve got Fiji, so that’s a pretty good hit-out,” Virtue said of a game planned for Ballymore on February 15, the same weekend the Super W competition kicks off.

“I watched them in Fiji and they looked pretty good, so it’ll be a good game and good for us to get some combos out there and give people game time before we do have to travel that distance to play WA, who we know nothing about really.”