NSW focused on the game, not series: Hilder

Margie McDonald

The job is not done for the Westpac NSW Sky Blues as head coach Kylie Hilder stressed her players will not be resting on their laurels after their Ampol Women’s State of Origin Game One victory a fortnight ago.

“The focus for us is that we’re not speaking about wrapping up the series because we know there’s three games,” Hilder said as the 20-player NSW squad started their Game Two preparation at NSWRL’s Centre of Excellence today.

It will be a home game for the Sky Blues at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle next Thursday night (6 June).

“We want to get to Newcastle, re-set, and focus on winning the next game.”

Hilder said her team of internationals and NRLW premiership-winners had too much experience to fall into the trap of getting ahead of themselves.

“I’ve got a pretty good group of girls who have played a lot of football at elite level,” Hilder said.

“So it’s easy to get the girls back into work and into an understanding the job is not done yet.

“We know it will be another battle, as Origin always is, and we’ve got some work to do this week.

“We’ve had some review and recovery but not too much work yet – we wanted the girls to rest their bodies.

“I have an outstanding strength and conditioning staff, who got the girls physically fit and ready to go for Game One. It’ll be the same for Game Two.”

Being part of the three-game Origin series for the first time is also new turf for the head coach. She sought out Westpac NSW Blues coach Michael Maguire to discuss a few tactics.

“Madge might be new to this (Origin) but he’s used to coaching a World Cup team with multiple games,” she said.

“I caught up with Madge before they headed to the Blue Mountains and he was really great.

“We did have two games last year so I’m sort of used to that go-again type of preparation.”