Maroons triumph to take an 8-point lead in the first leg of Women's State of Origin

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New South Wales Women v Queensland Women

The Queensland Maroons have outclassed the New South Wales Sky Blues in the first leg of Women's State of Origin, winning an extremely scrappy affair by 8 points at Commbank Stadium.

It was a rough start for the visitors, with Shannon Mato knocking it on inside the first minute. Making things worse was the fact the Queensland decided to challenge the decision and did so to no avail, leaving them in the hands of the referee for the next 69 minutes. 

The Maroons held the Sky Blues off and would eventually get into an attacking position of their own courtesy of a few penalties, and they took full advantage when a superb pass from Tamika Upton put Julia Robinson over for the first try of the series. 

The lead lasted for just over 10 minutes, with NSW getting penalties of their own to go on the attack. In the 17th minute, an inside pass found a rampaging Jess Sergis who powered her way over the stripe to even things up for the hosts. The conversion was successful, giving the Sky Blues their first lead of the night.

It was an extremely scrappy first half, with both sides combing for 13 errors in the opening 35 minutes alone. Queensland boasted a mammoth 59% share of possession heading into the break but risked not having a lead to show for it. 

That was rectified when second rower Tazmin Gray powered her way over four Sky Blues defenders to edge the Maroons back in front, Zahara Temara's successful conversion making it 10-6 to Queensland at the break.

Unfortunately, the trend of errors continued in the second half, with both sides combining for another 14 to bring the total tally for the match up to 27. It felt as though both sides had a lot more opportunities to put points on than the scoreboard would indicate, but neither of them could stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Five minutes into the second 35, the Sky Blues were in prime position to take back the lead, but a Shenae Ciesiolka put Queensland on the attack. She was run down by Jaime Chapman, but it wasn't enough to stop Queensland scoring a try as they found numbers with a spread to the left on the next play, Emily Bass finishing things off. 

In the set after points, Queensland got another piggyback penalty and before you knew it, they were in again, with Ciesiolka getting on the outside of her opposite number and putting Robinson over for a double. The margin was now 12-points, making it a tough ask for the Sky Blues. 

They were quick to respond though. The next time they had the ball, Sergis broke the line and tried a chip'n'chase. She was taken out after the kick but there was no penalty, which didn't matter in the end as Queensland knocked on shortly after. 

Off the scrum win, NSW spread it left, with Emma Tonegato doing well to create space for Chapman, who brought the lead down to 10.

Those were the last points of the evening for either side, with Queensland doing enough to hold on while also being helped out by numerous errors by their opposition. 

As the series is decided on aggregate, NSW will need to win game 2 by nine points or more if they are to retain the shield.

New South Wales Women 10 - Queensland Women 18

Venue: CommBank Stadium, Parramatta / Burramattagal
Crowd: 12972
Halftime Score: New South Wales Women 6 Queensland Women 14 Players of the Match:
3 points - Julia Robinson
2 points - Shenae Ciesiolka
1 points - Millie Boyle

Tries: Jessica Sergis, Jaime Chapman
Conversions: Jesse Southwell (1/2)

Tries: Julia Robinson (2), Tazmin Gray, Emily Bass
Conversions: Zahara Temara (1/4)

See how it happened in our Match Centre