Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Origin representative Kirra Dibb has found fresh inspiration following the announcement of the return of NSWRL’s premier female competition, the Harvey Norman Women’s Premiership, as well as the NRLW return for the 2020 season.
Kincumber Colts junior Dibb burst onto the scene in 2019 when she represented NSW Country at the Women’s National Championships and was rewarded with a starting spot in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Origin side that defended the Shield at North Sydney Oval.
The 23-year-old plays for the North Sydney Bears in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership alongside fellow NSW team mates Shontelle Stowers and Holli Wheeler and says the return to play announcement has come as a massive reprieve to the club and its players.
“We knew an Origin game was on the horizon but we didn’t know if we were going to get any game time before that, so the fact that we know we’ve got some time to work on our game personally and as a team is a relief,” Dibb said.
“It will be great for everything – for our ball skills, for our defensive skills, for our fitness and it will reduce the injury risk in Origin because throwing us into one of the biggest games of the season would have been terrifying.
“It gives us time to mentally and physically prepare and it’s going to be super important for the success of Origin for us to get club games in.
“Now that groups of ten can start training for team based things it’s a great because now we have some more direction rather than running in a field to aimlessly keep up our fitness.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to is beyond excited that we’ve got something locked in.”
NSWRL senior sport competitions were given the green light to resume from 1 July after the NSW Government’s latest announcement on Wednesday and Dibb will certainly be prepared after training the house down through isolation.
“When I went home one of my neighbours had a home gym so the supplies were limited but heaps better than what I had so she let me use that as long as we were in at different times and following all the precautions so I was really lucky with that,” Dibb said.
“Then at my last placement for university one of the guys that works there is a strength and conditioning coach for Athletics Australia so I spoke to him about how I was training and he decided that I’d be a good little project for him.
“The Jillaroos also gave us a four-week running program that we’ve only just completed so that was awesome because it gave us a bit of accountability with four weeks of a running program on every other day.
“So, I’ve been really fortunate that in a time when I was going to struggle the most, I didn’t have to.”
Last month it was announced that the Women’s State of Origin match - which was originally due to be played in June - has been scheduled to go ahead in November as a standalone fixture on Friday, November 13.
Women’s Origin has gone from strength to strength, with last year’s game played in front a record 10,515 strong crowd at North Sydney Oval and Dibb is eager to see what this year’s match will produce.
“It’s beyond exciting to see that they’ve put the women’s game at the forefront - they care, I think that’s also a nice thing to know and they’ve kept it a standalone game on a Friday night,” Dibb said.
“The fact that we know there’s a big game on like that, the biggest game, on our calendar and that we get to keep that was just the most exciting day.
“The date we have is now in November but it really keeps you motivated and keep up that determination to train.
“Putting on that jersey for the first time was an experience that I still to this day cannot put into words that describe it well enough.
“I think the thing about making it for the first time is it just makes you want to make it a second and a third and a fourth and a fifth and in the women’s game at the moment your position can be taken away from you at any stage.
“There are just so many young girls coming through and they’re talented and training hard.
“It just makes you want to do absolutely anything in preparation to make sure you’re wearing that jersey, so it would mean the world to me to play Origin again.”