Super W: Queensland ready to put biting controversy in past

Super W
by Emma Greenwood

Queensland women's captain Kiri Lingman says her side is ready to put the controversy of the past week behind it and concentrate on beating rivals NSW in their Super W grand final rematch at Leichhardt Oval.

A biting allegation against incumbent Wallaroos captain Liz Patu and her subsequent six-week suspension marred last week's win against Rugby WA and Lingman said Queensland was looking forward to getting the narrative back on rugby.

"What's done is done," Lingman said.

"It's been another big week of training and we're ready to get out there and just put that behind us."

Wallaroos front-rower Patu is a big loss for Queensland but Lingman believed the side had the depth to cover for her.

"Liz is obviously a huge loss but I think our biggest asset this year is the depth in our squad, so moving forward we've got a really fit, ready squad to slot in at any given time," she said.

Hana Ngaha has been named at prop after overcoming a calf injury that kept her out of the first two games of the season.

"Hana has international experience, she's a powerhouse, really dangerous with the ball in hand and really passionate about playing," Lingman said.

"So we're excited.

"She was out with injury for the first few weeks, so she's really eager and keen to get out there and I'm excited to see what she puts out this weekend."

With centre Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea unavailable for selection due to Sevens commitments, Eseta Aho-Fangoloka has been added to the centres, with former Australian Sevens stars Amy turner and Georgie Freidrichs coming on to the bench.

The winner of Sunday's derby will likely claim grand final hosting duties as well as bragging rights.

With both teams having games under their belts, Lingman expects a high-quality and passionate encounter.

"Every time that we've matched up with NSW it's always been a highlight for me and a highlight for people watching, so I'm expecting a lot from this weekend," she said.

Ash Hewson and NSW celebrate her match-winning penalty. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley

The Queenslanders have hung on to the bitter disappointment of last year's extra-time grand final loss to serve as extra motivation for this year's campaign.

"I try not to think too much about it but it was obviously heartbreaking," Lingman said.

"But in the best possible way.

"I think the showcase for women's rugby from that game did pretty fantastic things for the sport and … it was a showcase of exactly what we wanted.

"It was probably the most intense game that I've ever been a part of and hearing from people who were there experiencing the game, they all had the same thing to say, it was one of the best women's games they've ever seen.

"Is it going to be like that this weekend? Who knows.

"We've both had round games under our belt, so we've had plenty of time to sort out our niggles nad I expect a really high standard from both and it being Queensland and NSW, there's always that extra (feeling), especially given our history.

"So I expect huge things."