NRL Victoria's inaugural women's squad returned home this week following a whirlwind seven-day development tournament in Sydney.
The Victorian side played teams from New South Wales Rugby League's Tarsha Gale Cup U18 competition in a series of trial matches under head coach Joanne Manuel.
While the visiting interstate team didn't manage to record a win, NRL Victoria Female Participation Coordinator Mitchell Kurtz said the trip was an invaluable experience for the playing group.
"The vision for the trip was to give our talented young women the opportunity to compete against some of the best talent women's rugby league has to offer," he said.
"They now understand the level they will need to be at if they want to continue to chase their dreams.
"We had great feedback from the teams we played and we even had phone calls from a few other NRL Teams asking if we were able to trial against them because they were impressed with our physicality and raw abilities."
Trip highlights included a visit to Rugby League Central – where the squad learnt about cultural diversity from the NRL Community Team – a coaching session with St George Illawarra Dragons NRLW coach Daniel Lacey and a tour of the Rugby League Museum.
The playing group also received feedback and a review of their game from NRL Women's elite pathways manager Jamie Feeney.
"It was a great experience for the 2019 development team to see and hear about the female pathways from the likes of Daniel Lacey and Jamie Feeney," head coach Joanne Manuel said.
"The exposure to elite reviews has enabled them to really see where female's rugby league is at and that here in Victoria we are on the right path in terms of their development, which can be seen in their games.
"The tour has been the start of the legacy the team have now set for future junior females coming through.
"They have built an opportunity to be invited back, which is a tribute to the way they carried themselves both on and off the field."
Newcastle Knights 32 d NRL Vic 12
St George Dragons 24 d NRL Vic 4
Illawarra Steelers 16 d NRL Vic 12
Wests Tigers 40 d NRL Vic 12