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NSW Under 19s Women's go down fighting

The Harvey Norman NSW Under 19s Women’s team have gone down fighting 20-14 against Queensland in the Women’s State of Origin Under 19s at Kayo Stadium in Redcliffe.

NSW had the lead 10-4 at half-time but a second half surge from Queensland proved to be the difference with the home team securing their first win since the concept started in 2019.

Fullback Sienna Williams said the loss was tough to take but was full of praise for the way her teammates refused to give up.

“You can’t doubt them on effort and courage; it was really courageous to keep going up until the end,” Williams said.

“It really stings though. I know the girls worked really hard for this and we just lost our way a little bit there.

“I’m a bit sore, I’m not going to lie but that’s the beauty of footy. Seeing girls put on physicality like that is what we want for our game and what we want to people to see we’re capable of so giving out the big shots and taking them is just as important.”

NSW lock Losana Lutu was one of best on the night despite playing out of her normal position of five-eighth. She looked threatening in both attack and defence, while her kicking game questioned Queensland’s back three the whole night.

Queensland opened the scoring early in the game after centre Skyla Adams dived on a loose ball, but they were unable to land the conversion to leave the score at 4-0.

NSW hooker Chelsea Makira found space out of dummy-half before fooling the goal-line defence to dive through a gap and cross for the first NSW try of the night. Monalisa Soliola successfully landed the conversion to take her team to a 6-4 lead. 

NSW dominated through the middle, gaining good metres on every run which placed them in good field position from each set.

Off the back of strong attacking sets close to their line, NSW found space out on their left edge and shifted the ball out to winger Grace-Lee Weekes, who crossed over in the corner to extend the lead to 10-4.

Off the back of a penalty, Queensland were in good field position only 20 metres out from NSW’s line but some impressive defence from the visitors proved to be too good and they were turned away on each play.

Queensland finally hit back in the 43rd minute with halfback Sienna Lifipo passing the ball out to fullback Destiny Mino-Sinapati, who found the line while carrying three defenders on her back. Utility Emily Bella missed the conversion from out wide leaving her team trailing 10-8.

The home team then made it back-to-back tries after Bella dived out of dummy-half to score underneath the posts. She successfully converted her own try to extend her team’s lead to 14-10.

With momentum behind them, Queensland scored another four pointer when five-eighth Chantay Kiria-Ratu through a cut-out pass to centre Libby Surha to shoot through a hole in the defensive line and score. The conversion was successful taking the lead to 20-10 with only nine minutes remaining.

Makira bagged her second four pointer of the night, jumping out of dummy-half to burrow her way over the line. Soliola’s conversion attempt was unsuccessful and although NSW tried to the very end, time would defeat them.

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New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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