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2021 Women’s Origin Preview, QLD Vs NSW

Kristie Tancevski previews the Women’s State of Origin between Queensland and New South Wales to be played at the Sunshine Coast Stadium.

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TEAM NEWS

Venue: Sunshine Coast Stadium, Date: 25/6, Time: 7:45pm

QLD Team

1. Tamika Upton (Burleigh Bears)
2. Shenae Ciesiolka (Valleys Diehards)
3. Lauren Brown (Burleigh Bears)
4. Julia Robinson (West Brisbane Panthers)
5. Karina Brown (Burleigh Bears)
6. Tarryn Aiken (Tweed Seagulls)
7. Zahara Temara (Burleigh Bears)
8. Chelsea Lenarduzzi (Burleigh Bears)
9. Destiny Brill (Valleys Diehards)
10. Shannon Mato (North Sydney Bears)
11. Tazmin Gray (Burleigh Bears)
12. Tiana Raftstrand-Smith (Burleigh Bears)
13. Ali Brigginshaw (Valleys Diehards)
14. Romy Teitzel (North Queensland Gold Stars)
15. Natassja Purontakanen (Valleys Diehards)
16. Shaniah Power (North Queensland Gold Stars)
17. Brianna Clark (Valleys Diehards)
18. Tallisha Harden (Burleigh Bears)
19. Rona Peters (Tweed Seagulls)

NSW Team

1. Botille Vette-Welsh (Wests Tigers)
2. Yasmin Meakes (Central Coast Roosters)
3. Jess Sergis (Helensburgh Tigers)
4. Isabelle Kelly (Central Coast Roosters)
5. Tiana Penitani (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
6. Corban Baxter (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
7. Maddie Studdon (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
8. Simaima Taufa (Mounties)
9. Keeley Davis (Mounties)
10. Millie Boyle (Burleigh Bears)
11. Kezie Apps (c) (Helensburgh Tigers)
12. Sarah Togatuki (St Marys Saints) 
13. Hannah Southwell (Central Coast Roosters)
14. Quincy Dodd (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
15. Filomina Hanisi (Mounties)
16. Kennedy Cherrington (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
17. Holli Wheeler (North Sydney Bears)
18. Brydie Parker (Central Coast Roosters)
19. Renee Targett (North Sydney Bears)

Referee: to be announced

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Queensland

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The Maroons will be aiming to go back-to-back after a 24-18 win in the 2020 series, and they’ve named a strong team to do so.

Ali Brigginshaw returns at lock where she excelled last year, with Nellie Doherty and Tarryn Aiken to play in the halves. Fullback Tamika Upton leads a speedy backline that remains unchanged. Coach Tahnee Norris has named five possible debutants in the squad, but they will be surrounded by an abundance of experience to boost them.

Experienced forwards Tallisha Harden and Rona Peters are under some doubt with injury concerns, though are named in the squad with the hope that they will be fit in time for the game

New South Wales

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The Blues have named a star studded line up with the hopes of stealing the victory infront of an away crowd.

Experienced halfback Maddie Studdon returns to the team in firing form, after being dropped from last years squad, and can be expected to boost the team playing alongside her Sharks halves partner Corbin Baxter. Jess Sergis will move back into the centres with Yasmine Meakes named on the wing. Keeley Davis and Kennedy Cherrington are named to debut after being part of last years extended squad.

Fullback Botille Vette-Welsh and key forward Millie Boyle are under some doubt due to injury, but both are expected to play.

PREVIEW

If team lists and current form in State competitions are anything to go by, this year will be just as close as last.

If NSW want to take back the title, they’ll need to tighten their defence and shut down Tamika Upton. The star fullback scored two tries in the 2020 match, and her fast speed makes her almost unstoppable once she breaks the line. Missed conversions also proved costly last year as a perfect kicking percentage would bring the game to 24-all.

Debutant Keeley Davis will be a player to watch for the Sky-Blues. While this is her first State of Origin, she has been a key player in the Dragons NRL-W campaigns and already donned the Jillaroos jersey.

For the Maroons, their backline holds the key to a potential win. If Tamika Upton is firing, it will greatly help them break through the Sky-Blues defence. Add in the strength of their halves pairing and the incredible ability of Ali Brigginshaw, and they have the potential to go back-to-back. Having possibly five debutants, their weakness will be their experience. Key players will have to lift even further and lead the way.

Destiny Brill and Tiana Raftstrand-Smith, who named to start in the front and second row, are key players to watch after strong performances in the Harvey Norman National Championships.

KEY STAT

Last year was Queensland’s first win since the fixture was branded under the State of Origin banner, with New South Wales winning 14-4 in 2019 and 16-10 in 2018. Their first win also coincides with the game being moved from North Sydney Oval to Sunshine Coast Stadium. This could be a good sign for the Maroons with a home game always being a significant boost.

PREDICTION

New South Wales by 4.

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