A torn anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus put question marks over Kitiara Porter's rugby union career before it ever really took off.
After suffering the injury in 2017, she pursued a different path in the sport - one which involved refereeing.
At the weekend, she became the first female referee ever from the Mid North Coast to have officiated in a City-Country NSW women's 15-a-side fixture.
Not only that, but all officials on the day were female as they created their own piece of history.
"It was definitely a historic event," the 21-year-old said of the occasion.
"It's nice to know there are other females who are facing the same challenges in the game because it's such a male-dominated sport.
"It was good to get the encouragement from people who understand the game a bit better and the other girls are all brilliant refs.
"One is from the ACT Brumbies program and the other two were from Central Coast."
Porter has refereed many senior matches on the Mid North Coast in the last four years and while perceptions were changing at senior level, juniors had room for improvement.
"There is a perception around that women are not able to control a game as good as a man - that's been one of the biggest challenges I've faced as a referee," she said.
"You have a lot of players, parents and coaches who think women don't know the law as well as the men do, but since I've gone to the senior grades you can tell things are changing.
"I think it's mainly due to the maturity of the players and they understand better than what the juniors do."
The Port Macquarie Pirates product still harboured ambitions of refereeing a match at Super Rugby level, although her next goal was a finals match on the Mid North Coast.
"I'd love to referee a grand final before I have to leave," she said.
"I do want to get to Super W level, but I'm happy with community rugby and helping the girls understand the game better for now."
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