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The Broader Game: Brigginshaw fires shot at Blues as Origin nears

Ali Brigginshaw has fired a barb at NSW leading into the Women's State of Origin on June 25 with the Dally M Medallist suggesting Queensland has the stronger club competition.

Brigginshaw's Valleys Diehards fell short of claiming the BHP Premiership over Burleigh last weekend with Maroons teammate Tamika Upton scoring the match-winner with four minutes remaining.

However, it was Brigginshaw's words post-match which drew the attention of those south of the border, when talking to the crowd at the presentation.

The 31-year-old declared the eight-team, seven-round competition in Queensland offered more to players than the Harvey Norman NSW Premiership.

All NSW players in the Origin side except Millie Boyle, who is based in Queensland, play their club footy in the NSW state competition.

This is a Rivalry that knows no boundaries

"Thank you to BHP for making this possible, it's one of the best competitions in Australia," Brigginshaw said.

She said she didn't want to trash talk NSW, "but our comp up here is much better than down there".

"To everyone who played in the comp, all the teams, I thought every week all the games were so tough and everyone left it out on the field.

"Congratulations to all the teams."

Asked by The Broader Game about the comments this week, Brigginshaw said "if anyone is offended by it, I'm only talking about the structure of it."

Ali Brigginshaw and Rona Peters celebrates Queensland's Origin win.
Ali Brigginshaw and Rona Peters celebrates Queensland's Origin win. ©NRL Photos

The NSWRL will argue women's participation has a record 20,000 registered females participating in the game across the state and players are being fast-tracked to the bigger stage.

However, Brigginshaw could also have a point.

The Queensland set-up has come a long way since NSW's City-Country sides played out all-NSW finals at the Harvey Norman National Championships in 2018 and 2019.

Those same sides gathered as one after each final and chanted "New South Wales" in enemy territory and in front of several QRL development officers when the event was held on the Gold Coast just a fortnight before each Origin game.

It shows how far Queensland has managed to turn results around over the past 12 months with the Maroons winning their first title last year and Queensland's under-19s sides reaching the National Championships final last month.

The NSW competition has drawn criticism this year for having too many teams and going on for too long with the NRL Telstra Women's Premiership also set to expand in 2021.

The action started in March and runs through until the end of July, where players will then link up with NRLW clubs to begin a mini pre-season.

Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues

Sky Blues representatives will go into camp on June 18, ruling them out of the final round of the state competition. However, they'll need to get through another round this week and try to avoid injury.

The Queenslanders will now have two weeks to put their feet up and prepare for their Origin defence in the lead-up to the Sunshine Coast game.

Meet and train with Blues heroes

Still on State of Origin, the NSWRL are calling on 100 of the state's biggest fans to support the Sky Blues at a joint training session with the NSW under-19 side on Sunday, June 20 at the NSW Centre of Excellence.

It will be one of Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder's final training runs with the side before they travel to the Sunshine Coast and prepare for the match.

After the field session, girls aged between five and 14 years can be part of a clinic by registering here, while there will also be a chance to meet the game's best with an autograph and photo opportunity.

Rugby league heroes to be recognised in 2021 NRL Community Awards

Coaches join NRLW ranks

Two former NRL players are in line to coach in the Telstra Women's Premiership this season in a boost for the women's game.

The pair will join Dragons mentor Mat Head as coaches with NRL experience in the fourth season of the competition.

The NRL is very close to announcing plans for the 2021 season with talks escalating in recent weeks between NRL CEO Andrew Abdo and current players around the make-up of the competition.

With every player in the NRLW essentially a free agent again this season, the amount of movement across the game is expected to skyrocket.

Stowers on mend after almighty scare

NRLW centre Shontelle Stowers is the latest player to spend time in hospital with the Warriors representative admitted this week after a leg laceration became infected.

Stowers is in good spirits after the original cut on her leg a fortnight ago wasn't stitched up properly and required treatment. She is expected to make a full recovery.

Stowers missed selection in the NSW side again this season after representing the state in 2019.

Shontelle Stowers powers upfield.
Shontelle Stowers powers upfield. ©NRL Photos

No hands, no worries

On the topic of injuries, anyone doubting the toughness of the players should look no further than Broncos NRLW utility Chante Temara.

Temara joined older sister Zahara in the Burleigh Bears line-up for the grand final last week despite nursing two broken hands.

Chante bandaged up both and pulled off a textbook tackle on Emma Sykes in the first half as the Bears went on to win the premiership.

To cap off the afternoon for the Temara clan, Zahara was awarded player of the final for a terrific all-round performance ahead of State of Origin.

 

Women’s Origin tickets are on sale via NRL Tickets. Supporters can watch the historic match from just $5 for juniors, $15 for adults and $35 for families

 

The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.