Why being ‘flustered and frustrated’ is the perfect Women’s Origin preparation


After winning game one of the first-ever three-game women’s State of Origin series, the Sky Blues are 70 minutes away from reclaiming the shield in front of a sold-out crowd in Newcastle on Thursday night.

NSW hooker Olivia Higgins described game one as “the fastest game I’ve played ever”, and to maintain that intensity between the two matches, coach Kylie Hilder had her team run an opposed session against the Knights’ Jersey Flegg (men’s under 21) team.

The Sky Blues are 70 minutes away from reclaiming the Origin shield.

The Sky Blues are 70 minutes away from reclaiming the Origin shield.Credit: Getty

“I always like to have an opposed session against the boys because it just takes the girls to that next level,” Hilder said.

“I know after 10 minutes they were really flustered and frustrated because it was really fast, but that’s what I want. Because Origin in that first 10 minutes you come out here, and you’re gone within the snap of a finger.

“To get that intensity and that speed, and it frustrates them, which [is] funny, but as a coach that’s what I want, I want to challenge them to look at things and be challenged in a situation like that so when we come into Origin they’re ready to go. That’s what it’s all about, we can take little things out of that, which we did last night in our review, but it just gives them a little bit of extra confidence as well.”

It’s not a new tactic from NSW. Last year the team ran an opposed session against the Raiders’ Jersey Flegg team, and co-captain Isabelle Kelly agrees it is the best preparation for the team.

Sky Blues co-captain Isabelle Kelly takes a hit-up in game one at Suncorp Stadium.

Sky Blues co-captain Isabelle Kelly takes a hit-up in game one at Suncorp Stadium.Credit: Getty

“We do that basically every year, and it’s been probably one of the best things we’ve ever done,” Kelly said.

“Obviously, the boys are very quick and smart with their skill, but it makes us a lot better when we come on to game night that we can try and play that little bit faster or get that quick play-the-ball.



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