You have skipped the navigation, tab for page content
Pearson celebrates full-time in Game One 2024 Women's State of Origin: NRL Photos

From losing her spot in the Westpac NSW Sky Blues side in 2023 to returning to the No.7 jersey in 2024 and then being named Players’ Player after the 22-12 win in Game One of the Ampol Women’s State of Origin series … it’s been quite a journey for Rachael Pearson over the past 12 months.

But the calm and affable Parramatta Eels half has taken it all in her stride.

Certainly when the fulltime hooter sounded at Brisbane Suncorp Stadium on 16 May signalling a NSW victory to take a 1-0 lead in the three-game series, Pearson took a deep breath.

“I think it was a combination of emotions … obviously I was excited we’d won the game and that we all played well,” Pearson told

“Personally I was happy with how I performed. I didn’t feel vindicated – I just knew I did my job.”

Now she heads to Game Two at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium this Thursday (6 June) determined to do it all again.

Pearson tormented the Maroons defence with a forced drop-out, three bombs, two grubbers and two cross-field kicks, as well as making 10 runs for 93 metres and 21 tackles.

Her goal-kicking was at 100% - three conversions and two penalties - for her five shots at goal.

“I just did the role the team wanted, that the coaching staff backed me to do.

“That was pretty much it. I did what I know I could do so I was just very happy.”

Westpac NSW Sky Blues halves Corban Baxter and Rachael Pearson: NRL Photos
Westpac NSW Sky Blues halves Corban Baxter and Rachael Pearson: NRL Photos

Pearson’s efforts earned her Players’ Player, which showed how highly her peers valued her contribution.

“I think in any team, any sport, where you get Players’ Player it’s one of the highest compliments you can get. Your teammates think you did well.

“It was a nice way to end the night.”

While Pearson missed Game Two of the 2023 series, her halves partner in 2024 Corban Baxter also missed out last year after having her second child.

Pearson and Baxter have never played at club or representative level before.

“Just the timing I guess in our two careers. But we’ve had the eight weeks training in the lead-up to Game One so that has helped tremendously,” Pearson said.

“We trained hard and had time to develop our partnership. We’re very similar but also have our differences.

“We’re both calm and controlled out there, but Corbs is more of a runner, where I’m more of a steer-and-kick sort of a player.

“So we bounce off each other really well. I’m really enjoying playing with her.”

Acknowledgement of Country

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.

Platinum Partner

Major Partners

View All Partners