Connor O’Brien, @obrien_GCB, Gold Coast Bulletin
JILLAROOS playmaker Zahara Temara admits she was worried “even if I remembered how to play” upon returning from a three-month injury lay-off.
Her concerns were quelled however with a masterful display in her comeback match on Sunday to help Burleigh demolish Toowoomba 62-6 despite having only 15 players.
The Bears were still down on numbers after having five players feature in Friday night’s State of Origin match, while Temara’s sister Chante lined up in the under-18 curtain-raiser at North Sydney Oval.
Out of that half-dozen, Bears captain Tallisha Harden made the extraordinary effort to back up less than 48 hours after starting in the front-row for Queensland.
But all eyes were on Temara, who Burleigh coach Tahnee Norris had made a concerted effort not to rush back from injuries to her right knee and ankle sustained in a pre-season trial.
The 21-year-old said there were some nerves that came with her return.
“Just running out there, I was a bit nervous about even if I remembered how to play or anything,” she said.
“But it was really good, I just felt right at home. It was very natural.”
Temara’s organisational skills were a welcome asset for Burleigh, who bounced back from a 32-4 loss to Easts when they had the bare minimum 13 players.
“It was a bit hard watching the girls last week playing short … that was really a tough one being on the sidelines and not being able to do anything,” Temara said.
“It was really nice being out there with the girls again.”
In Saturday action at Piggabeen Sports Complex, Tweed defied the absence of representative trio Jessika Elliston, CJ Sims and Teaghan Hartigan to push leaders Wests Brisbane.
The Seagulls trailed 18-16 at halftime before falling 30-20.