While there was disappointment about the result, Australian rugby union sevens stars Ellia Green and Evania Pelite were blown away after their first taste of rugby league with Warriors in last week’s first-round NRLW clash against the Brisbane Broncos.
Speaking about her try-scoring debut, Green told nrl.com the experience was “unreal.”
“I’m not going to lie, I was nervous sick,” she said.
“I think I was more nervous for my first NRLW game than I was for the Olympics to be honest. I was just super, super nervous because I didn’t want to let the girls down and make mistakes.
“Yeah, I was pretty much s….ing myself!”
Green said she loved every minute of the game and has been thriving on the atmosphere in the camp. Indeed, playing for the Warriors again is in her plans.
“Definitely on the cards. If I got to be part of this amazing team again (it would be great). I’ve just loved the environment, the culture and the whānau feeling we have in this team. It’s really special and I’d love to play for the Warriors again if I have the opportunity to do so.”
Coach Brad Donald and experienced halfback Simone Smith saw firsthand exactly how excited Green and Pelite were after last week’s match.
“Coming out of their first rugby league experience with the loss we had, they were extremely disappointed,” said Donald.
“Now, (remember) they’ve got Olympic gold medals but, to use younger terminology, they were frothing after playing rugby league for the first time. They loved how involved they were in the game.
“As you saw, any time the ball was in either of their hands everyone was on their feet waiting to see what would happen.
“They’re incredible talents and they’re just really enjoying the whole experience with the Warriors. It’s a credit to everyone who’s involved and a credit to the game itself.”
Smith echoed Donald’s thoughts.
“They were so excited,” she said.
“Vani came up to me and said: ‘I loved that. That was so fun.’ Ellia was the same and you saw that excitement from them on the field during the game.
“Afterwards they couldn’t talk highly enough of the game of rugby league. They had so much praise for the effort our team put in and they felt comfortable out there with their own performances.”
After Smith had opened the scoring in the fifth minute, Green scored the Warriors’ second try three minutes later while Pelite also had a try on debut in the 50th minute.
Pelite finished with a team-high 108 metres from eight runs while she had a line break, a line break, a try assist, an off load and six tackle breaks plus 10 tackles.
Green ran for 94 metres from nine carries, had a line break, two tackle breaks and made seven tackles without a miss.