The NSW Women have finally broken a 17-year drought over their Queensland counterparts, putting in a defensively bruising yet perfect performance in their 8-4 victory at CBUS Super Stadium.
Individuals stood up, however it was a brilliant team performance that won them the match, and the girls fought to the end for each other in defence.
Simaima Taufa put in a powerhouse performance for the Blues in both attack and defence, while Isabelle Kelly and Samantha Bremner were a constant threat for the entire 80-minutes.
Rebecca Young started from the bench and was in absolutely everything from the get-go, while the Australian halves pairing of Maddie Studdon and Allana Ferguson beautifully controlled the game.
The combination of Maddie Studdon and Kezie Apps flourished extremely early in the match, with the veteran back-rower running an excellent line off a bullet-like pass from the halfback, making a line-break in the process.
Isabelle Kelly stamped her authority in the match when she chased a Studdon bomb, and belted the ball loose from Amelia Kuk.
Samantha Bremner was under a serious injury cloud coming into the match, but she showed no signs of slowing up when she used fancy footwork to beat two defenders, before pulling off a crunching try-saving tackle just moments later.
Only some cruel timing denied Apps the first try of the game after she took an intercept on her own line, but fortunately for Queensland, Tegan Rolfe was running on the field from the interchange bench and was able to eventually make the tackle.
The scoreless first period of the game was no reflection of the attacking prowess shown by both teams, and Kelly proved this when she picked up the ball in the middle of the field, drifted right and showed too much speed to get around the defence and make a line-break. The Queensland defence were then frustrated enough to give away a penalty.
Queensland were nearly the first to score through Kuk, but some bone-rattling contact by Ferguson mixed with some help from Kelly forced the ball free on the stroke of half-time, and the teams went into the sheds following a scoreless opening stanza.
The second half began with Kody House making a break down the left sideline, but when the ball was shifted right where plenty of space was available, Rebecca Young squandered any opportunity with a big tackle on the last play.
Points were finally posted through NSW’s own wrecking-ball, Taufa, who was rewarded for her brilliant game by busting through the defence and scoring a try.
Jen Latu was on the wrong end of a big collision in the 58th minute, and unfortunately had to be assisted off the field.
The Maroons looked certain to score as they attacked the line and shifted left, but some simply amazing NSW defence, including Bremner, Kelly and particularly Corban McGregor saved the try.
The biggest hit of the day came shortly afterwards, when Elianna Walton poleaxed her opponent and it shook the entire stadium,
Queensland thought they had scored with 10 minutes remaining, but a great decision by the referee saw Tazmin Gray clearly obstruct the marker, paving a clear path for Brittany Breayley.
Bremner found some open space and made a charge for the try-line, but nearly got her head taken off in front of the posts, allowing NSW to slot a vital 2-points.
Ali Brigginshaw scored a consolation try for Queensland, but it was all Blue at CBUS Stadium with the NSW side finally breaking the drought.