Raso: Playing in Queensland's conditions will suit us

Ahead of the Commonwealth Bank Matildas’ match against New Zealand this Friday, winger Hayley Raso has declared that the Townsville conditions will be an advantage to her and the team.

With temperatures predicted to be closing in on 30 degrees near kick-off and humidity over 70%, it is going to be typical North Queensland weather for the trans-Tasman clash at QCB Stadium.

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Raso is no stranger to Queensland conditions herself, having been born in Brisbane and growing up on the Gold Coast. While not born and bred in North Queensland, Raso travelled across Queensland to play in her formative years.

The 27-year-old believes the trying conditions will be a big benefit to the Matildas compared to their New Zealand opposition.

“These conditions will be an advantage for us, especially for me,” said Raso.

“As Aussies, we love playing in the hot weather: it is very hot and very humid up here and we thrive well in that environment.

“Everybody in the squad knows how to play in the heat, we do well in it and we love it.”

With an in-built fighting spirit, the Matildas are a team that never say die – and the historic match in Townsville gives the national team the first chance to sweep away the demons from a poor showing at the recent Asian Cup.

Hayley Raso training in camp in Townsville

“We went into the Asian Cup looking to win and we fell short, so we’ve regrouped, we’ve come back together and we know that we need to do better.

“But we’re a group that fights: we bounce back and we stick together really well. So that's what we'll be looking to do in the game coming up, especially against a rival such as New Zealand. We know we need to win this game.

Not only is Friday’s game the first Matildas match since the Asian Cup, but it’s also the first match the Matildas have ever played in Townsville – giving even more motivation to perform well.

“We haven't been here before so it's about putting on a great performance and bringing in more fans. We've got the World Cup coming up in Australia so we want to get as many people behind us as possible.

“We'll put on a good show for Townsville.”

Commonwealth Bank Matildas v New Zealand 
Friday, 8 April 2022  
Venue: QCB Stadium, Townsville, Queensland 
Kick Off: 7:45pm (AEST)  
Gates Open: 6:15pm (AEST)
Broadcast: Live on 10 Bold, 10 Play and Paramount+. Check your local tv guides.
Ticketing Details: Buy now

Commonwealth Bank Matildas v New Zealand 
Tuesday, 12 April 2022  
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra 
Kick Off: 7.45pm (AEST)  
Broadcast: Live and free on 10 Bold and simulcast on 10 Play and Paramount+.  
Ticketing Details: Buy now

$1 (plus GST) from every ticket will be donated to the ParaMatildas, Australia’s first national team for women and girls with cerebral palsy, acquired brain injury or symptoms from stroke.

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This article was originally published on the CommBank Matildas website.