Prop promises a lot of Maroons mongrel in Origin defence
RUGBY LEAGUE: Hitting hard in defence will be the buzz words for Steph Hancock as she plays her 16th game for Queeensland against New South Wales on Friday night at North Sydney Oval.
The Killarney prop isn't sure if she will start in the front row or come off the bench.
"I really enjoy coming off the bench but it is what is best for the team,” Hancock said.
Hancock was at Killarney State School and fellow Queensland prop Heather Ballinger at Scots PGC College when the pair first met in school athletics in Warwick.
They have often been the starting front rowers for Queensland and Australia and are close mates.
Hancock has little doubt Ballinger will be in the starting side.
After first playing for Queensland in 2004, Hancock was part of a team which took its winning record to 17 seasons in succession. While there was an interstate game in each state at one stage, only one interstate game is now played each season.
Then there was a draw and the Blues have won the last three so there is plenty at stake for a proud Queenslander like Hancock.
"I want to win an Origin series and get that one up on Roh, I will then have achieved everything I want to in league,” she said.
Roh is her father Rohan Hancock who played in the first three years of State of Origin football, including the first game when he was in a forward pack led by Artie Beetson which dominated the Blues. His origin record is four wins in five games.
"We are having a bit of a celebration for Roh's birthday today in camp even though he is not here, he is looking forward to the game on Friday night more than I am,” she said.
"I want to be as tough as nails in the game, we need to hit hard in defence and show New South Wales we have the mongrel and desire to win.”
With Origin legend Trevor Gillmeister the defensive coach for the Maroons, they won't be backward in hitting hard in defence.
Hancock said she was enjoying this Origin camp at the Gold Coast more than any other during her interstate career.
And part of the enjoyment is working with the support staff.
She has a high regard for coach Jason Hetherington and enjoys working with past Maroons women's players Jo Barrett, Karyn Murphy and Nat Dwyer who are the support staff.
Barrett, Hancock and Ballinger won a World Cup in England in 2013 but Barrett is now retired and is managing the Maroons women.