Tannum's Vassa Hunter.
Tannum's Vassa Hunter. Mike Richards GLA300717WRGB

OPINION: Gladstone women take a hit from season 2019

WOW! WHAT a week it's been in the Gladstone Rugby League confines.

It's been a mixed week and of course the biggest highlight for fans was Thursday evening's Johnathan Thurston Live 2018 at the GECC.

Unfortunately I could not attend what was a 'bucket list' night, but good on those who did meet the great man.

The North Queensland Cowboy great made most of all the talent that he has and produced the goods - none better than his field goal to break Brisbane Broncos in that 2015 epic decider.

Thurston brings me to the next phase of this column and while he is arguably the greatest league player, Gladstone's Chelsea Baker is our own 'JT'.

Chelsea Baker converted four times.
Chelsea Baker. Daniel Pockett GLA230718CB

It's because of her, that the growth of women in league in Gladstone has gone through the roof.

Other female players are starting to make their mark such as Tannum Seagals pair of Krystal Sulter and Vassa Hunter along with Gladstone Wallaby's Savannah Pratten.

These three are in the Queensland Women's Development Camp which will run for two-days in Brisbane.

It's a sign that Gladstone rugby league is growing and backed up by the Seagals' memorable grand final win against Rockhampton Brothers.

It was in the then Inter City Women's competition.

It will be no longer because the Rockhampton clubs have voted to have Tannum Seagals, Gladstone Valleys, Wallabys and Calliope Roosters out of the extended competition.

Gladstone and Rocky will now have their own women's competitions.

As far as I'm concerned, women's footy has taken two steps back after a quantum leap forward just a few short years ago.

2019 will bring, at this stage, a five-team format in both Gladstone and Rockhampton.

Some people have said that the GRL and RRL have been pig-headed and some have said Rocky have done this because a Gladstone-based team won the extended competition.

I did have a smile at that comment.

But all bias aside, is it not best for both leagues to work together for the betterment of women's rugby league moving forward?

And that's not to fix something that didn't need fixing.