IN ALL of the hype surrounding the start of another State of Origin series, it is important to remember another big game in Brisbane this week.
The focus of the Queensland sporting public is on the Maroons ahead of game one of this year’s Origin series on Wednesday night at Suncorp Stadium and rightfully so as Mal Meninga’s men start their campaign for an unprecedented sixth-straight series win.
But amid this hype and fanfare, another Queensland team is preparing to do something extraordinary.
The Queensland Firebirds are taking on New Zealand’s Northern Mystics in the grand final of the ANZ Championship.
Netball doesn’t have the same following as league but what the Firebirds are on the cusp of doing is impressive.
The Firebirds hadn’t made the finals of the ANZ Championship prior to this year in the competition’s three-year history.
Queensland has now not just qualified for the finals but progressed to the grand final undefeated.
In this day and age of professional sport with salary caps, player drafts and the like, going through a season with a perfect record is unheard of.
That unbeaten record to date does not ensure victory on Sunday when the Firebirds host the Mystics at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre though.
The sporting history books are littered with teams who have made it to the decider undefeated only to lose the one that matters.
But the way that the Firebirds won their semi-final indicates they have what it takes to achieve the perfect season.
The Darling Downs will be right behind the Firebirds on Sunday given Allora’s Laura Geitz will be our star on the big stage.
Geitz was outstanding in the semi-final and given Firebirds captain Lauren Nourse has missed the latter part of the season through injury, the Downs goal-keeper has taken on a senior role in the team.
And while Nourse’s injury is unfortunate for the Firebirds, it could see Geitz have the honour of lifting the trophy.
Geitz will have 17 family members and friends at the game so hopefully they are on hand to witness what would be the highlight of her blossoming career.
If the Firebirds do win on Sunday it would continue an impressive run at professional level for Queensland.
The Brisbane Roar won the A-League title in dramatic fashion in March. The Reds and Broncos are flying high in Super Rugby and the NRL.
It looks like the Maroons have high standards to live up to thanks to their Queensland counterparts.
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