Alicia Newton – NRL.com Reporter

 

Kirra Dibb wasn’t at North Sydney Oval last year to watch NSW create history in the first women’s Holden State of Origin.

She wasn’t even in the country.

Dibb was some 17 hours away in New York, sight-seeing the bright lights of Times Square and about to embark on a 10-week summer sports camp with children aged between 8-18 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The choice of a gap year from university studies gave her an opportunity to unwind and assess her career goals.

“I was in very much a different place but my family went to go watch,” Dibb told NRL.com.

“I took a gap year from university and wanted to try something different. I did some back packing before and after the trip.

“During the camp you get accommodation, food and you work with kids every day. I taught them a lot about rugby league, to show them how it’s done.”

The rise of the women’s game over the past year made it a no brainer for 21-year-old Dibb to make a return to a code she has played since she was 10.

A Kincumber Colts junior, Dibb, like most female players, was faced with a lack of girls’ teams as she grew older and so turned to coaching as a way to stay connected to the game, while taking up touch football.

“I always wanted to come back to league,” Dibb said.

“While I was away I made a few decisions and league is something I always had a passion for. There just weren’t many options on the Central Coast until a Berkeley Vale team got created.

“It was only this year I dedicated to full-time playing with North Sydney and the Central Coast for Country champs.”

The exercise science student is now one of the most important cogs in NSW’s quest for back-to-back Origin wins against Queensland on Friday, June 21.

After a sound effort at the National Championships three weeks ago, the young playmaker will start at five-eighth, stepping into the void left by Lavina O’Mealey’s retirement.

What Dibb brings though, is a kicking game, with her mammoth boot set to come into play as the Blues look to camp Queensland in their half.

“The kicking game is something we want to work with … distance and keeping them into a corner. Hopefully I can use it to our advantage,” Dibb said.

“To get the call [to the team], it was an amazing conversation to have. I am one of those New South Welshmen that just wants to smash Queensland. I want to beat them every time.

“There are a lot of young girls and new faces in the team but hopefully we can help build on what the girls did last year.”