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Interstate bragging rights are up for grabs tonight, as Queensland take on New South Wales in the Women’s State of Origin at the Sunshine Coast Stadium. Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match, starting from 7:45pm (AEDT).
NSW have claimed State of Origin wins over the past couple of years, but both games were at North Sydney Oval. The game will be held on the Sunshine Coast this year, and Queensland will be desperate to get the job done in front of their home fans.
There is one big rule change this year with the length of the game increasing from 60 minutes to 70, so there will be some fatigue at the back end of both halves. However, set restarts won’t be a feature of this State of Origin, with ruck infringements drawing a penalty.
Queensland have struggled to score points in past State of Origins, so coach Jason Hetherington has made an important positional switch. Ali Brigginshaw will start at lock with Tarryn Aiken and Zahara Temara in the halves.
Behind an impressive forward pack, Queensland will be hoping they can create enough chances for the likes of fullback Tamika Upton to capitalise on.
For NSW, coach Andrew Patmore made some big changes to the initial squad, with regular halves Maddie Studdon and Kirra Dibb left out. Roosters pairing Corban McGregor and Melanie Howard replace them in the effort to build on that club combination.
NSW do have a good pack of forwards, with Millie Boyle and Simaima Taufa up front and Hannah Southwell, who is the best defender in the game.
In a big boost for the Blues, Kezie Apps and Isabelle Kelly have been cleared to play.
Queensland have the benefit of continuity with Broncos players making up the bulk of the team. That is a large advantage in a one-off game.
NSW will need to rely on individual brilliance, and they have that in spades through Kelly and Jess Sergis. However, it’s a big ask for the new-look halves combination to deliver in their first game at this level.
Queensland have it all to play for at home and they will get the win.
Queensland by eight points.
Kick-off: 7.45pm (AEDT)
Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium
TV: Nine, Foxtel
Live stream: Kayo Sports, 9Now, NRL Live Pass
Odds: Queensland $1.40, NSW $3
1. Tamika Upton 2. Shenae Ciesiolka 3. Julia Robinson 4. Lauren Brown 5. Karina Brown 6. Tarryn Aiken 7. Zahara Temara 8. Chelsea Lenarduzzi 9. Brittany Breayley 10. Stephanie Hancock 11. Tallisha Harden 12. Tazmin Gray 13. Ali Brigginshaw
Interchange: 14. Rona Peters 15. Annette Brander 16. Shannon Mato 17. Shaniah Power
New South Wales
1. Botille Vette-Welsh 2. Jessica Sergis 3. Tiana Penitani 4. Isabelle Kelly 5. Shanice Parker 6. Corban McGregor 7. Melanie Howard 8. Simaima Taufa 9. Keeley Davis 10. Millie Boyle 11. Kezie Apps 12. Shaylee Bent 13. Hannah Southwell
Interchange: 14. Quincy Dodd 15 Filomina Hanisi 16 Sarah Togatuki 17 Yasmin Meakes