Sweet 16 for Queensland Women

QUEENSLAND'S unprecedented run of success in the Women's Interstate Challenge continued this afternoon with the team claiming their 16th title in a row with a 26-10 win over NSW at Leichhardt Oval.

The team have been unbeaten since the state concept began in the women's game.

This year, the Queensland team fielded arguably their most inexperienced line-up for the match - but there was no doubting the talent or commitment from the new players.

Coach Brad Donald blooded eight debutants in the game played at the historic rugby league venue – and while nerves and some strong defence from NSW caused some problems early – the Queenslanders soon settled into a successful rhythm.

Some strong runs from debutant Jazmyn Taumafai and experienced campaigners Renae Kunst and Heather Ballinger helped turn the tide Queensland's way after an even start.

It was more than a quarter of the way through the match before the deadlock was broken with backrower and Players' Player Kunst over with a strong run to get over the line.

Her try quickly was followed by another from fellow experienced backrower in Deanna Turner who weaved around defenders to clear a passage over the line after regathering a 'six again' call.

In a good passage of play for Queensland, the next points though came via Kellye Hodges, who was the first state representative to come from the Carina club, scoring on her debut after going over in the left hand corner.

The score remained that way until halftime, giving Queensland a 16-0 lead. However, they still plenty to think about with NSW sure to continue to push hard following the break.

Jenni-sue Hoepper; who won the Coaches Award at last year's World Cup for the Jillaroos, was the next to score after the break, with her try putting the visitors further in front to a 20-0 lead.

NSW were still fighting hard and with 15 left to go they crossed for their first points thanks to Teina Clarke finding a way through from close to the line.

But Queensland hit straight back with a great front rowers' try to Steph Hancock to put her team in front 26-4 with the clock winding down.

There was still time for one more NSW try – with Keezie Apps crossing for the final try of the match to bring the final score to 26-10 to Queensland.

Veteran half and skipper Karyn Murphy answered the call of the coach to help add some experience to the team following the retirements of many Queensland stalwarts last year and she put in a performance to remember.

The win was a great way to cap off a remarkable Queensland representative career – having been involved in these Interstate Challenge matches as a player or part of the coaching staff since the concept began in 1999.

Murphy was presented the Nellie Doherty Cup by ARL Commissioners Ms Cathy Harris and Mr John Grant.

Queensland 26 (Renae Kunst, Deanna Turner, Kellye Hodges, Jenni-sue Hoepper, Steph Hancock tries; Ali Brigginshaw 2 goals, Jenni-sue Hoepper 1 goals) def NSW 10 (Teina Clark, Keezie Apps tries; Maddison Studdon goal) at Leichhardt Oval.   

Queensland

Women’s Team 

 

 

2

Kellye Hodges

3

Annette Brander

4

Jenni-sue Hoepper

5

Kady Tinker

6

Ali Brigginshaw

7

Karyn Murphy

8

Steph Hancock

9

Brittany Breayley

10

Heather Ballinger

11

Renae Kunst

12

Deanna Turner

13

Tarah Westera

14

Talia Poutini-Lawrence

15

Nicole Richards

16

Teri Nukunuku

17

Jazmyn Taumafai

18

Aleasha Brider

1

Latisha Gary

Coach:

Brad Donald

Asst Coach: Steve Savage
Manager: Brendan Bowers
Sports Trainer: Robyn Tyler
Physiotherapist: Georgina Capps