The smallest player in the NRLW, Chante Temara, alongside Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw. Picture: Josh Woning.
The smallest player in the NRLW, Chante Temara, alongside Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw. Picture: Josh Woning.

Broncos unleash game’s smallest forward for debut

THE Broncos will field the smallest player in the NRLW on Saturday, with dynamo forward Chante Temara set to show the rugby league world why she shouldn't be underestimated.

The Keebra Park product has been named on the Brisbane bench for the grand final preview clash against the Roosters in Sydney this weekend, following an injury to hooker Lavinia Gould and a suspension to backrower Amber Hall.

Standing at just 157cm and weighing 59kg, Temara is the smallest player in the NRLW but impressed in the local competition earlier this year with her fearless attitude in the forward pack.

She was moved from fullback to the forwards by her Burleigh Bears coach Tahnee Norris and often had to bring down opposition players who were almost double her size.

But Temara has never shied away from those challenges and is ready to repay the faith shown by Broncos coach Kelvin Wright in Saturday's showdown with the Roosters.

Both teams have already qualified for the NRLW grand final on October 25, but will finish the regular season by giving fans a taste of what is to come.

The smallest player in the NRLW, Chante Temara, alongside Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw. Picture: Josh Woning.
The smallest player in the NRLW, Chante Temara, alongside Broncos captain Ali Brigginshaw. Picture: Josh Woning.

"When I'm in the middle, it's all good," Temara said of her role in the forward pack.

"There's more tackling and following the ball, but I like it in the middle. I like a bit of the action.

"I think I can (be underestimated) but I just chop the legs. That's the safest.

"Sometimes I look at (opponents) and I'm a bit iffy. They can tell you to go for the ball in tackles but sorry, I'm going to go under.

"My attitude comes from my sister telling me what I need to be doing."

Temara's sister is Roosters and Maroons halfback Zahara, who has been rested for this Saturday's game.

The pair were hoping to come up against each other, with 19-year-old Temara already throwing a few playful barbs at her 23-year-old sister ahead of the meeting between the two sides.

Temara joked that she can cop an earful from her sister, saying: "You wouldn't think it but behind the scenes she's somebody else."

"I told her if I see her on the field, I'll just duck. But we've had a bit of a laugh. I told her if I do get to play, I'll be all over her. And she was like, 'whatever, I'll just step on you'."

Rugby league sisters Zahara and Chante Temara. Picture: Adam Head.
Rugby league sisters Zahara and Chante Temara. Picture: Adam Head.

 

But while they won't meet on the field just yet, Temara - who is also on the radar for a possible State of Origin debut this year - said Zahara is the reason why she plays rugby league.

"I've always liked to watch her play up there (in the NRLW) and I'd thought about it for myself … but I also thought, 'nah, there's no way'. I reckon it was (doubting my own ability)," she said.

"She's my favourite player to watch. I like watching my sister. I didn't watch the game when I was younger and she was the one who was into rugby league and stuff.

"I was the girly girl. You wouldn't believe it now but that was me. She started playing league with the boys and Dad was like, 'do you wanna play?', but I decided to stick to touch (football).

"After a while I was like, 'stuff it, let's go for it'."

And Temara hasn't looked back since.

She will wear No. 17 in Saturday's clash and will do everything she can to press her claims for a spot in Wright's grand final team where she could face off against her sister for the premiership trophy.


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