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This week, Mary Kaye gives her thoughts ahead of the Round 10 clash against the NZ Warriors at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday 16 May. You can catch up on Mary Kaye's blogs at Ladies who League here

As most of you know, this is my favourite regular round of football in the calendar year and it is because we get the opportunity to celebrate the sensational women who are involved in the NRL. This celebration extends from the grassroots up – so whether you are a volunteer on the sideline cutting up oranges, cheering on your kids as they race down that sideline, are an administrator, employed by the NRL, a player, a referee or just a very loyal fan, this week is all about celebrating you.

This week, I am so proud to be a female involved in the game.

For me, the NRL really is the good news story in regard to gender diversity in sport at the moment. Driven by talented women like Suzanne Young, Raelene Castle, Cathy Harris, Marina Go, Erin Molan and Ruan Sims – I look forward to a time in our game where seeing a woman in a boardroom is no longer something novel, when seeing a female referee is part of the game and when our Jillaroos finally get the air time they deserve.

Here at the Parramatta Eels we are also celebrating Women in League round. I am delighted to have been invited to the Parramatta Eels Women in League function tonight and will be sharing some pictures with you in my next blog. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate all the women involved in our Club and to remember how much we have achieved and how much there is still to do.

Now – onto football. Before we talk tactics, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed our Mother’s Day extravaganza last weekend. How delightful to see Timmy Mannah’s proud mum on screen! We just wanted to give David Gower’s mum a hug (especially when he went off injured). The mum’s guard of honour was very special and a great way to honour the special women in our player’s lives.

Onto the game. I was disappointed (and cold). So after an extremely disappointing loss against the Storm on the weekend, it must be back to basics for our Eels this weekend.

The Warriors are an extremely dynamic and exciting team and have the ability to score plenty of points, quickly. If we are to be able to compete with the Warriors our defence will need to improve dramatically and our unforced errors will need to be very close to zero. It has to be about getting the simple things right and I am hoping that there has been a real focus on our discipline at the training this week.

Although our position on the ladder is extremely disappointing at the moment, it is still early in the season and there is still plenty of time. Who would have thought, after the opening rounds of the competition, that teams like the Dragons and the Raiders would be the ones to beat? As clichéd as it sounds, a week is a long time in rugby league and a week is sometimes all it takes for there to be a dramatic turn around. Let’s hope our turnaround is this weekend.

So this week as we face the Warriors and raise our blue and gold flags, be sure to spare a thought for the women in our game and all that they do to make rugby league the greatest game of all.

Acknowledgement of Country

Parramatta Eels respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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