You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
'I'm in a good place': Recalled Temara ready to roll for Maroons

Back in maroon as Queensland’s starting halfback and fresh from claiming player of the match honours in Burleigh’s state league grand final win, Zahara Temara is in a good place and loving her rugby league.

This year, she also co-captained the Māori All Stars to victory with a bold and somewhat controversial call, and following Game One of this year’s Origin series, will head to Canberra to help lead the Raiders in their inaugural NRLW season.

While last year was dotted with on-field disappointments, including missing out on selection in the Jillaroos squad for the World Cup and having to watch on as the 18th player the Maroons lost a tight match against New South Wales, a change in mindset has helped spearhead a turnaround in fortunes for Temara, who is set to feature in her fifth game for Queensland (including Interstate Challenge appearances).

"There's a really a good vibe around here and I'm just happy to be a part of it again,” Temara told

“It’s a little bit different to last year where obviously I was 18th player, but now I'm I feel like I'm in a good place and I'm really happy to be back into camp and be amongst the girls and all the staff again.

“I had a big sit-down last year and wrote down some goals that I want to achieve and I had a really good off season away from footy and everything in my life feels good right now.

Captain Zahara Temara leads out the Burleigh Bears in the BMD Premiership grand final.
Captain Zahara Temara leads out the Burleigh Bears in the BMD Premiership grand final. ©Erick Lucero / QRL

“My goals necessarily weren't making teams and that sort of stuff; it was more so on-field stuff and off-field stuff.

“But, I feel like me trying to reach those goals or execute those goals during the season with Bears or All Stars, that set me up pretty well with where I am today … I think it was very important.

“I think it was also a change of mindset as well, using those disappointments as a positive.

“It's not the end of the world, it's still another year. You're still breathing, you're still healthy and at the end of the day, I'm just trying to play the best footy I can and I feel like I'm on that track.

“I do feel like I'm having a lot of fun and that's a big reason why I'm having the season that I'm having.

“I'm in a good place.”

For Game One at CommBank Stadium, coach Tahnee Norris has opted to return to the same spine that last experienced Origin success, with Temara pairing with Tarryn Aiken in the halves, shifting skipper Ali Brigginshaw to lock.

Temara said working with the duo, alongside fullback Tamika Upton and hooker Destiny Brill was “pretty easy” having all played well together before.

“We all know each other’s strengths and we want each other to show that in the game, but also, having those combinations and making sure the team gets where they need to be and driving that structure and free flowing footy," the Queensland vice captain said. 

“We're in a good spot us, our spine (even though) we've only had a couple of sessions.

“There's a good vibe and there's a good feeling. We're very relaxed and very calm and that's what you want in a very high pressurised game and camp and we're calm and we're happy with where we're at as a team.

“We still have got a few things to iron out, but … we're pretty confident that we'll sort that out.”

Zahara Temara in camp with Queensland.
Zahara Temara in camp with Queensland. ©Zain Mohammed / NRL Photos

With the NRLW pre-season having officially kicked this Monday, Temara numbered among the Origin players missing from the opening week of training, but the Nerang Roosters junior was excited to be joining up with her new club soon, having debuted in the competition’s inaugural season with the Roosters.

“It is sort of uncharted territory, but I started at Roosters, but it's been a while,” Temara said.

“I'm excited, I feel like I'm where I need to be and I'm excited to be amongst the club, be amongst the people and fully be immersed and sort of just love the club.

“Because I do need to love the club for me to play my best footy.

“I'm on the right track, I love the people at the Raiders, there are great people.

“I've only met a few girls, but they seem like good people as well and I can't wait to fully be in it.”

But for now, the focus was on Game One and while celebrating the expansion of Origin to a two-game series, Temara was taking a classic ‘one game at a time’ mindset in next Thursday’s important clash, not wanting to look too far ahead to the return match on Queensland soil in Townsville.

“I think that's in the back of our minds, but we're focused on Thursday and getting that job done, because we do need to get that job done,” Temara said.

“We lost last year and this it's going on points (if there is a draw).

“We're ready to I feel, play some really good footy and our focus is this week.

“One day at a time, one day at a time.”

Main image: Kurt Thomson / QRL

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.

Platinum Partners

View All Partners