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Maroons want another Origin clash on home soil

With their State of Origin hoodoo buried, Queensland have turned their attention to keeping the marquee fixture for at least another season.

Maroons coach Jason Hetherington and skipper Ali Brigginshaw have backed a call for the one-off event to remain at a Queensland venue in 2021 after hosting the annual interstate match for the first time since 2016.

NSW hosted the first two official Origin clashes at North Sydney Oval in 2018 and 2019, while the last interstate challenge was in Wollongong in 2017 before the fixture was moved north this year.

Last Friday night's crowd at Sunshine Coast Stadium was capped at 4800 due to COVID-19 restrictions with players from Queensland and NSW forced to remain in a bubble-style camp for two weeks leading into the game.

Match Highlights: Maroons v Blues

"I think we're owed another game in Queensland and then it should go back and forth after that ... we deserve to have it back again before it goes back to NSW," Brigginshaw told

"We didn't get to see the crowd after or do some things we would've liked to have done which was disappointing because we need to be able to do those things to build the connection between our teams and the fans. 

"Even for the Blues, they need to be going into schools in the local area and have opportunities to meet the fans during the week. I think it should definitely be considered to have it on the Sunshine Coast again next year."

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NRL officials are hoping to confirm the venue by Christmas, although this could be delayed due to the uncertainty around COVID-19.

Queensland's border and travel requirements for players and coaching staff are also expected to come into play.

"We certainly wouldn't say no if it was to come to Queensland again," Hetherington said.

"Then we can go back down to NSW or whatever the NRL wants to do. It was just great for the girls to play in front of a home crowd after a couple of years of travelling.

"If they want to level it up with two games each then that sounds good but we also need to recognises some of the extra sacrifices the girls have to make.

"Most of the girls work and the people I admire are their employers who allow them to take some time off to come and play.

"We had a job to do to win but more importantly we wanted to do a bit more in the community which was a bit unfortunate but hopefully we can return to the Sunny Coast soon."

Brigginshaw and Hancock lift shield

Brigginshaw added the game had noticeably risen its standard compared to previous years with players beginning to adapt to match the big stage occasion.

"They bring so much pressure and expectation that we must perform because it's becoming this big spectacle," Brigginshaw said.

"We're just expected to put on a big show. We had 15 debutantes across both teams so I felt like both teams went a bit too hard early and the conditions were hectic with the wind so I think that played a part.

"But once it settled down I thought it was right up there in quality."

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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