History is at stake as New South Wales meet Queensland in the Women’s State of Origin clash

In the final year of women’s one-off Origin matches, with two wins each for New South Wales and Queensland after four encounters, there is even more at stake than usual when the rivals meet in Canberra on Friday night.

With the series being expanded to two games next year, a new era is dawning for women’s rugby league, but it will require clearing old scores.

Both sides have had two wins each since 2018 and every win has been won on home soil, so on the frozen tundra of Canberra Stadium, the closest to neutral ground in rugby competition, they will be fighting for the right to say they are the best of this era.

The game is sort of a decider, five years in the making.

For their part, the Blues are also determined to improve on their two-game losing streak.

“It annoys me (when I think about it). I hate losing so it wasn’t great. But we played in Queensland for the last two years, I’m glad this is a little closer to homegrown,” said New South Wales prop Millie Boyle.

Queensland has won the last two Origin encounters, both of which have been played domestically. AAP: Darren England

“Everyone gets hungrier every year you don’t have that success. We know what it’s like to win, but now we know what it’s like to lose.”

The Blues are entering the game as favourites, in part due to the presence of Boyle and fellow NRLW Dally M winner Emma Tonegato as fullback.

While Queensland boast quality in the rear, especially with custodian Tamika Upton and the dangerous five-eighth Tarry Aiken, the arctic conditions in Canberra should play into the Blues’ power and distance game with Boyle, Tonegato and star player Simaima Taufa at the back. pipe.

In such circumstances, the kicking game will be crucial – the Maroons will once again look to Ali Brigginshaw, the best playmaker the women’s game has ever seen, to lead the charge, while New South Wales debutant halfback will trust Rachael Pearson to take the lead. about the match. show.

Pearson, who had a stellar NRLW debut season with the Dragons, has the biggest boot in the game and local Hay will aim to show it early and often at Canberra Stadium.

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