PREVIEW: Women's State of Origin III

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Queensland (W) v New South Wales (W) Thursday 7:45pm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville / Wulgurukaba

Decider in Townsville: Sky Blues and Maroons Set for Historic Women's Origin Showdown!

The 2024 Harvey Norman Women's State of Origin series has delivered unforgettable moments, setting the stage for a thrilling decider in the first-ever Game III in Women's Origin history. The New South Wales Sky Blues and the Queensland Maroons are poised to battle it out at QCBS Townsville on Thursday, 27 June, with the series tied 1-1 after two gripping encounters.

New South Wales struck first, securing a commanding 22-12 victory at Suncorp Stadium in the opening match. However, the Maroons mounted a stunning comeback in the second game, overcoming the Sky Blues in a nail-biting finish to level the series.

Despite adverse weather conditions, Game II set a new Women's Origin attendance record, with 25,782 fans witnessing the drama unfold. NSW dominated the first half, amassing 853 metres to Queensland's 612 and leading by six points at halftime. However, seven handling errors kept Queensland in the contest.

In the 55th minute, Maroons half Ali Brigginshaw found centre Shanae Cieiolka for a crucial try. NSW extended their lead to 10-4 with Tiana Penitani's corner try. Yet, Queensland's resilience shone through. Tarryn Aiken's brilliant individual try, coupled with Lauren Brown's clutch conversion and a decisive field goal in the final 90 seconds, sealed a dramatic win for the Maroons.

New South Wales Sky Blues Coach Kylie Hilder is confident in her squad, fielding the same 17 players from the first two games. Olivia Kernick will don the No.13 jersey, while Keeley Davis moves to the bench as No.15. Jakiya Whitfeld and Kirra Dibb remain on reserve.

Queensland Maroons Coach Tahnee Norris continues with the dependable halves pairing of Tarryn Aiken and Ali Brigginshaw. However, the Maroons face challenges with Destiny Brill sidelined due to a calf injury, replaced by Lily Peacock. Keilee Joseph steps into the starting lineup, with Emily Bass and Chelsea Lenarduzzi added to the extended bench following Sienna Lofipo's PCL injury.

Last meeting: Game II 2024 - Sky Blues (W) 10 Maroons (W) 11

Players to Watch:

New South Wales: Sky Blues centre Jess Sergis is set to be a key player, determined to overcome the setbacks of Game II. Sergis endured a high tackle, a corked leg, and cramping yet displayed remarkable resilience. She stayed down in pain after her clash with Keilee Joseph, which saw her sent for an unnecessary head injury assessment, and despite further collisions, she remained undeterred. Sergis's powerful play is crucial for NSW's success, and she's expected to deliver a standout performance.

Queensland: Lauren Brown is the Maroons' match-winner to watch. Her calmness under pressure was evident when she slotted a field goal in torrential rain with less than 90 seconds remaining in Game II. Brown's ability to execute under duress makes her an invaluable asset for Queensland in this decider.


The Sky Blues are slight favourites to take out Game III and, therefore, the 2024 Harvey Norman Women's State of Origin series. 

My Tip:

The series has been fiercely competitive, and Game III promises to be no different. With the momentum from their remarkable comeback, Queensland's home advantage, and the composure shown by key players like Lauren Brown, the Maroons are slight favourites. However, the Sky Blues, driven by the formidable Jess Sergis and a cohesive unit, will undoubtedly challenge every inch. Expect a closely fought battle, but I tip the Sky Blues to edge out the Maroons and clinch the series in a thrilling finish. NSW by 4.

1. Tamika Upton 2. Julia Robinson 3. Shenae Ciesiolka 4. Evania Pelite 5. Emmanita Paki 6. Tarryn Aiken 7. Ali Brigginshaw 8. Shannon Mato 9. Lauren Brown 10. Jessika Elliston 11. Tazmin Rapana 12. Romy Teitzel 13. Keilee Joseph 14. Emma Manzelmann 15. Makenzie Weale 16. Sophie Holyman 17. Chelsea Lenarduzzi 18. Zahara Temara

1. Emma Tonegato 2. Jaime Chapman 3. Jessica Sergis 4. Isabelle Kelly 5. Tiana Penitani 6. Corban Baxter 7. Rachael Pearson 8. Millie Elliott 9. Olivia Higgins 10. Caitlan Johnston 11. Kezie Apps 12. Yasmin Clydsdale 13. Olivia Kernick 14. Taliah Fuimaono 15. Keeley Davis 16. Grace Kemp 17. Sarah Togatuki 18. Jakiya Whitfeld

Referees: Belinda Sharpe; Sideline Officials: Tori Wilkie, Karra-Lee Nolan; Video Referees: Kasey Badger;

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