NSW Women’s Origin coach Andrew Patmore has praised the ‘resilience’ his players are showing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as they step up preparations to defend the Shield in November.
Patmore and his staff have had to work hard to almost predict when the best time would be to get the women together for various training camps with no guarantee of the pandemic getting better or worse in coming months.
They have been fortunate to get together at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence with the most recent camp being last Sunday.
“It’s been difficult like everyone else, but we had to assume everything was going forward,” Patmore said.
“We have a date now; we don’t quite know where we are playing but we just know that the game is in November.
“We just had to start to plan to get things together because if it’s on we’ve got to be ready.
“The girls are appreciative, they’re resilient, they’re buying into it.
“It was difficult to plan but the girls are loving it.”
The NSW Women’s Origin game was originally scheduled to be held on the Sunshine Coast in June but was pushed back to November at a venue yet to be determined as the country still battles the ongoing threat of COVID-19.
The players are desperate for another chance to defend the Shield having won the past four interstate series against Queensland including the past two years that were rebranded under the Origin banner.
Most of the players have been playing in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership since the competitions resumed in early June.
They will then play in the NRLW should nothing change before the State of Origin game on November 19.
Patmore is adamant that these training sessions are necessary to ultimately get a winning result.
“We needed do some basic attack and defence things, we just had to get together and we thought it was a good opportunity coming off the back of the COVID-19 break,” he said.
“We spoke to Kezie, we spoke to the senior girls, it’s just a good little window to get a few sessions together and then they can go back to NRLW at the end of that.
“Then we’ll sit back, let them play that then we’ll pick a team after the NRLW Grand Final.”
As for the actual camps, it’s not just on-field training sessions.
“We did work with the dietician Peta Carige. Holly Fuda did some work with their welfare in the last session we had them,” Patmore said.
“We spoke about what Origin is about, why we need to be ready and to be resilient.
“It’s a good chance to get the girls together and we had six brand new girls yesterday that hadn’t been in the squad before, we make sure that the girls in form in the Harvey Norman NSW Women’s Premiership are getting picked.
“It gives them exposure and doing some basic footy but generally it’s a get-together and a start to work towards November.
“We can’t control some things, we know that we’ve just got to roll with it, where it’s at, what time it is and the nature of the game, we’ve just got to be ready.”