21st October 2019, 12:00 | englandrl
In my last player diary, I spoke about experiences and this weekend I had one that will be difficult to top as I walked out as an England Women’s player at Bankwest Stadium as part of the Downer Rugby League World Cup Nines.
Unfortunately, we didn’t make the final which was our ultimate aim and we are disappointed not to have progressed further, but this has been an invaluable experience for the team and also me personally.
We managed to get a good victory over Papua New Guinea on Saturday which gave us confident heading into the Sunday but when we came up against Australia and New Zealand there was a difference in class, particularly in the 9s format and that is something that we now need to go and fix.
The effort was there from the girls and we worked hard but we were second best against the Aussies and the Kiwis. However, we now know the level of competition we’re going to come up against and where we need to be in the next few years heading into the 2021 Rugby League World Cup.
When we first walked into the stadium on Saturday it finally sunk in as to how big this was for us as a team and what a spectacle the tournament was set to be. There was a real great atmosphere in the stadium and running out against Papua New Guinea is a memory that nobody can ever take away from us.
Unbelievably privileged and so shocked to be included in the Team of the Tournament from this weekends World 9’s. The girls busted a gut this weekend. I’m so lucky to represent my country and be apart of such a lovely set of girls!! https://t.co/rGky2uErNm— Caitlin Beevers (@CaitlinBeevers1) October 20, 2019
To play on the same stage as some of the world’s biggest Rugby League superstars made it all that more special.
For me growing up Gareth Widdop was always an idol of mine as he was a full-back who had great ball skills and could kick as well so to get to watch him in action for England was fantastic. In terms of the Women’s games, it was great to see Ali Brigginshaw in action as I’ve heard and seen so much of her on social media so to watch her and then come up against her was great.
We stuck around for the rest of the games and I have to be honest it wasn’t great to watch the Women’s final – despite it being a brilliant encounter – as we really wanted to be competing in that match. However, watching that game will no doubt give us girls even more motivation to be competing at that level in the coming years.
Now it’s time for home for just over a week which will give us all a bit of time to relax but not too much as we’ve got a trip over to Papua New Guinea shortly for a two-game test series with a brief stop-off in Brisbane.
I can’t wait!
And again, I’ll be documenting it all in my player diary…