Country Players Feature Strongly in Blues Historic Origin Victory

Updated: June 23, 2018
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A two-try performance from Isabelle Kelly capped off an amazing night for the NSW Blues in the inaugural Women’s State of Origin match at North Sydney Oval; with the Blues Country contingent leading the way.

A late try to Kelly sealed the 16-10 result for the Blues on an historic night for the game in front of 6,824 fans on Friday night.

Scores were locked at 10-10 in a tense affair after both sides went try-for-try until Sam Bremner linked with Isabelle Kelly five minutes from full-time to snatch victory for the Blues.

Country Representative’s Bremner and Kelly were dominant for NSW, with Bremner playing a part in all three tries, two of which were scored by Kelly, who later earned the official Woman of the Match award; with the third Blues try also coming courtesy of a Country player in Nakia Davis Welsh.

It is the third consecutive victory for the Blues over the Maroons and the first under the Origin banner. The Blues suffered an early blow with Corban McGregor (dislocated shoulder) taken from the field after five minutes.

NSW couldn’t capitalise on their first chance close to the line but were in two minutes later with a slick back-line movement from Maddie Studdon and Bremner finished off by Kelly in the corner. Studdon made a sideline conversion look easy but Queensland went up another gear to dominate the remainder of the opening half.

A penalty conceded by Talesha Quinn late in the tackle count allowed Brittany Breayley to send Karina Brown down a short side in the corner to get the visitors on the board. Chelsea Baker matched Studdon’s goal-kicking efforts with a sideline conversion over her own.

Things got worse for the Blues with further injuries to Vanessa Foliaki and Rebecca Riley, as the Maroons looked to take advantage late in the first half. The Maroons threatened on two more occasions but couldn’t come up with a killer blow before half-time and the score remained 6-6 at the break.

Both teams shot themselves in the foot with repeated handling errors in promising attacking positions, but regular bone-jarring hits left no doubt it was an Origin clash.

NSW started strongly in the second half with a try through Nakia-Davis Welsh after some smart build up play from Bremner.

But Queensland responded with Ali Brigginshaw throwing a dummy close to the line before sending Brown over for a double.

Both sides went set-for-set in an entertaining clash until the class of Kelly proved too much for the Maroons outfit out wide.

A total of nine Country players featured for the Blues in the historic win with Sam Bremner, Isabelle Kelly, Nakia Davis-Welsh, Talesha Quinn, Kezie Apps, Vanessa Foliaki, Rebecca Young, Hannah Siuthwell and Holli Wheeler lining up on the night.

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