Kelly double helps NSW to inaugual Women's Origin Win

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History was made on Friday night as the women of rugby league got their own night to play State of Origin for the very first time at North Sydney Oval. The ground that has seen legends walk on the hallowed turf, saw New South Wales and Queensland walk out to play in front of a packed house as the women finally got the national stage.

New South Wales would get the lead off the back of a second phase block play which saw Sam Brenner get the ball out the back and pass it to a flying Isabelle Kelly in just the eighth minute. NSW captain Maddie Studdon would kick a beautiful conversion from 6 metres inside the left hand touchline to make it 6-0 to the Blues.

It would not take long for Queensland to hit back, with Amelia Kuk held out just metres from the line. The next play, on last, Brittany Breayley would give her captain in Karina Brown a lovely cutout pass to send the captain over. Chelsea Baker would then go ahead and play the old "anything you can do, I can do better" card, with her conversion from just millimetres inside the touchline sailing straight over the black dot with 14 minutes gone to tie it up at 6-6.

A huge hit from Maitua Feterika would shut down the chance for NSW to gain the lead back on a block play, as Kezie Apps thought she had herself a four-pointer underneath the posts prior to the call from the referees. It would be a night for big hits, with Simiana Taufa-Kautai returning serve on the next Blues defensive set. The Blues would have 3 players go off in the first half alone as Corban McGregor would have her shoulder dislocated, while Rebecca Riley would leave with a back complaint and Vanessa Foliaki would injury her arm.

Queensland would get one last chance before half time as Sam Bremner would bobble a chip kick. Queensland would kick off the scrum, trying to have Rhiannon Revell-Blair get onto the end of it, only for Kezie Apps and Nakia Davis-Welsh to combine and knock it dead. That would lead it into half time, with a half of intense and pulsating football being left at 6-6.

The second half would get started with the same intensity and big hits that we saw throughout all of the first half. New South Wales would get the first true opportunity at the line off the back of a penalty and they would take full advantage of it, with Sam Bremner and Isabelle Kelly using some quick hands to allow Nakai Davis-Welsh a chance at the line. Welsh would step back inside and go over to get the lead back for the Blues, as Maddie Studdon's conversion would fall just short to leave it at 10-6 with 23 minutes remaining.

Ali Brigginshaw would intercept an offload for Queensland to give the Maroons a shot 20 metres out, but Breayley was ruled to have knocked on from the play the ball despite the replays saying otherwise. 5 minutes later, a tap back from the Blues nearly allowed the Maroons to score as Hannah Southwell would just send the ball over the dead ball line in a last gasp effort.

The very next set, Ali Brigginshaw would dummy and run from 15 metres out to go straight through the Blues line to set up her captain for Karina Brown's second try of the night on the Queensland left edge. Chelsea Baker would end up hitting the left hand upright to leave the game on a knife edge at 10-10 with just over 13 minutes left.

A Maddie Studdon kick would get deflected off an attempted charge down and Lavina O'Mealy would just be dragged down to give the Blues some great field position. Sam Bremner would then send Isabelle Kelly back on the inside on the left edge to go through for her second try of the game and get the Blues back ahead. Maddie Studdon would make the crucial conversion to give the Blues a 16-10 lead with under 4 minutes left.

Kezie Apps would be on the wrong end of a good hit to allow Queensland a chance to hit back the very next set. Rebel Blair would try to go down the shortside, only for half of the NSW side to shift the young centre out over the touchline with 2 and a half minutes left. Some great pressure from Queensland forced a charge down, however the Blues would get back and recover. They would milk the clock, as Sam Bremner would break away down the left edge and get hit with 9 seconds left.

Queensland would try a kick cross field to make something from 70 metres away, however the Blues would clean up as they would take the 16-10 win in front of a crowd of close to 7000 fans at North Sydney Oval. History was made at North Sydney tonight, as women's rugby league just brought attention to themselves in the best way possible.



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