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Kylie's Korner: Sky Blues coach points out who to watch this weekend

Welcome to a new column for the 2023 Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership and Harvey Norman Tarsha Gale Cup competitions, where Sky Blues Origin coach Kylie Hilder will point out a few players and games to keep an eye on each week.

Round One – 4-5 February

Player to Watch

There’s been a lot of player movement during the off-season with the addition of three new teams in the NSW Women’s Premiership – the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, Illawarra Steelers and St George Dragons.

Obviously with injuries last year, off-season surgeries, the World Cup delaying players’ return dates, and the Indigenous-Maori All Stars game in a week’s time, there are some higher-profile players missing from Round One.

But one player to watch is Steelers fullback Teagan Berry.

She was in my NSW Origin squad last year and I think fullback is her position. She played a lot of wing with her former club Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks but to see her in some open space will be good.

Teagan has great speed, which is a real weapon, and she’s actually stronger than many might think. She was very dominant in the Tarsha Gale Cup so it will be good to see her step up in a full Harvey Norman Women’s season this year.

Another fullback I’m keen to see is Jayme Fressard (Central Coast Roosters) in their match on Saturday against Wentworthville Magpies. Jayme played centre for the Roosters last year but shifts back to No.1 so I’m excited to see how she goes.

Match of the Round

It’s hard to go past the Grand Final re-match between the Wests Tigers and Sharks.

There’s been quite a few personnel changes within these two clubs – there’s a new coach for the Sharks in my Origin assistant Ruan Sims and for the Tigers in Adel Hage – so it will be interesting to see where both teams are at.

There wasn’t much separating them last year – five wins, three losses each to finish third and fourth on the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership ladder – so let’s see how they’ve filled those spaces or voids, from the players they’ve lost.

Tess Staines at fullback for the Tigers will go well after their Grand Final No.1 Tayla Preston moved on. Tess played on the wing in the Grand Final, but I think the shift to fullback will be great for her.

She is from the Riverina so one of our country girls, who had limited opportunities last year in NRLW.

The Sharks lost some senior leadership in the forwards with Jillaroos Holli Wheeler and Kennedy Cherrington signing with the Bulldogs.

I’ve been speaking to a few of the coaches on how players are performing and Ruan mentioned to me that Ellie Johnston has really stepped up in the middle for the Sharks. She’s playing lock after moving from South Sydney this year.

The other game that intrigues me is the match-up between two of the new teams, the Bulldogs and St George, since Canterbury-Bankstown have recruited strongly and some of those stars are playing on Saturday.

Next Generation

She’s been a vital part of the NSW Under 19s winning their past two Origin shields, so I’m looking forward to seeing hooker Rueben Cherrington step up as a starting No.9 for the Bulldogs.

Rueben likes to run from dummy-half to keep defences on their toes. So, watch out Dragons.

The full schedule of round one matches in Women’s Premiership and Tarsha Gale Cup are available on


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