KYLIE Hilder from Forster experienced rugby league from a different angle as a commentator for Fox Sports in the televised NSW-Queensland women’s rugby league State of Origin clash at North Sydney Oval.
A knee injury sustained while playing for NSW Country in the national championships in Queensland early this month ruled Hilder out of the match. A dummy half, she would have been in the NSW side for the inaugural clash. However, she said the experience of commentating the game with caller Andrew Voss and former international Corey Parker helped make up for the disappointment.
“I was pretty down in the week leading up to the game,’’ she admitted.
“Then I got a call from the NRL asking me if I was interested in commentating for Fox. Because I know all the players they thought I’d be able to provide some insight.’’
Hilder admits she had some reservations.
“I’ve never commentated on football before and I wasn’t sure how I’d go,’’ she said.
Hilder went to Fox Studios on Friday afternoon to meet Voss, Parker and Lara Pitt, who anchored the program.
“I was really nervous when I went there. But they were great – it was like I'd known them forever,’’ she said.
Hilder assured the nerves had gone by the time kick off rolled around.
“I felt really relaxed,’’ she said.
“I was just talking about football. They were a great team to work with.’’
She described Parker, who played 19 Origins for Queensland and 347 games for the Brisbane Broncos, as ‘a passionate Queenslander.’
“He was punching the air when Queensland scored. Corey was right into the game,’’ she laughed.
Hilder said she did her best not to be too parochial towards NSW.
“It was a great game,'’ she said.
NSW won 16-10 and there have been calls for a three match series to be introduced next year.
Hilder said she’s received positive feedback from Fox and said there’s a possibility she could be required for further duties. Andrew Voss sent a text to congratulate her.
“There’s no more women’s representative games this year. The (women’s) NRL competition starts later in the season but I’ll be playing in that,’’ she said.
“But if I get the opportunity to commentate again I’ll be happy to do so.’’
Hilder will be playing for the Sydney Roosters in the women’s NRL. She is currently undergoing physiotherapy on her injured knee and confirmed she’s on track to return to the field in a month to play for CRL Newcastle in the NSW Women’s Premiership. This will conclude before the start of the NRL competition to be run in conjunction with the NRL finals. Hilder will retire at the end of the season.
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