Maroons hold on for women's Origin win

Melissa Woods
·2-min read

Queensland's Tamika Upton made a State of Origin statement, scoring a spectacular double to help break NSW's dominance with a 24-18 victory on Friday night.

Coming off a NRLW premiership victory with Brisbane, the debutant fullback crossed in both halves at Sunshine Coast Stadium to end the Blues' four-year reign.

Her first try in the 14th minute was an 80 metre special, running on a to NSW kick and stepping in and around the defence before beating fullback Botille Vette-Welsh to score.

Maroons five-eighth Tarryn Aiken, player of the match, also cut through for an important second-half try to open up an 18-6 lead.

Queensland coach Jason Hetherington said he was proud of the rookies in the the first match played on home soil.

"They are moments in these big games, and Origin comes down to them," said Hetherington.

"Tamike and Tarryn were outstanding with individual brilliance there - they were quite spectacular and three tries between them, in Origin that's a big ask."

The hosts had all the early running but NSW built into the game and had levelled at 6-6 by halftime.

Halfback Melanie Howard put through a stabbing kick that bounced up perfectly for Kezie Apps to touch down.

The Maroons missed 27 tackles in the first half and, after blowing a number of attacking raids through errors, looked to be fading.

But they were revived during the break and came out firing, with Upton scoring her second just three minutes into the second stanza.

Despite running into a strong breeze, Queensland then piled on two tries within six minutes to Aiken and Stephanie Hancock and with centre Lauren Brown adding the extras, led 24-6.

It looked like a comfortable margin but NSW kept coming.

Tiana Penitani scored in the 59th minute and then Filomina Hanisi and Vette-Welsh both crossed within two minutes to give the Blues a sniff.

NSW looked to have one final chance to try and level in the final minute but the restart by Brown found touch, leaving their skipper Apps in tears.

Blues coach Andy Patmore said the Maroons gave the likes of Upton and Aiken too much space.

"We didn't perform well but they played winning footy," Patmore said.

"They just grounded, got forward and had us going backwards and girls like Tarryn Aiken and Upton were outstanding.

"We spoke all week about not knocking off and as soon as you do, they just tore us apart."