Maroons captain Ali Brigginshaw concedes her form may have been slightly down in 2022 but she expects Friday night’s Ampol State of Origin clash to spark a mid-season resurgence.
Brigginshaw fronted the media following Queensland’s first and only training session at GIO Stadium on Thursday with the 2020 Dally M Medal winner confident the Maroons can make it three wins in a row.
The 32-year-old was also confident she can get back to her best after she was unable to lead the Broncos to a fourth-straight title earlier this year after the defending champs bowed out in the semi-finals.
Brigginshaw was instrumental for the Maroons in 2021 when the match hung in the balance on the Sunshine Coast and hoped to play another starring role in Canberra.
“To be honest I probably haven’t been playing my best footy but my body feels better than ever,” Brigginshaw said.
“I’ve gone away and had that [post-season] to think about it.
“For me I’ve got to be the best leader I can be and the more practice I can get at that out on the field, the more connections I get with who I’m playing with, the better it will be for me."
Final say: Ali Brigginshaw
Asked if she’s feeling the pressure of delivering a big performance to ensure the Maroons secure victory, Brigginshaw said there were enough team-mates to allow her to not overplay her hand.
“I don’t believe the pressure is on me that if I’m not on, the team’s not on, not at all. I think we’ve got so many leaders that will lead the way,” she said.
“We’ve got Lauren Brown, who is a great leader, Tarryn Aiken is stepping up now and Tamika Upton has found her voice. They’re not expecting me to hold the team together.”
Brigginshaw maintained her comments earlier this week that she expects NSW to lift the intensity around the wrestle component that is beginning to creep into the women's game.
“I think that’s one way they [NSW] think they can get under our skin is in the wrestle so no doubt they’ve been working on that,” she said.
“Having Ruan Sims [NSW assistant coach] in the coaching staff I know she’ll have a bit to do with the wrestle.
“We’ve adjusted to that and can be so much better in that space around getting up and playing the ball.”
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Maroons coach Tahnee Norris said the squad had focused on combatting NSW’s tactics at training this week.
"Especially in the first half [last year], there was a lot of frustration around the stuff that was going on, on the ground," Norris said.
"We've just got to be smarter about it, we can't do anything about the refereeing or can't do anything about what they're doing on top of us.
"But we've just got to work ourselves out and get ourselves out of the tackle as fast as we can."
Match: NSW Women v QLD Maroons
Round 1 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra