QRL State Carnival Women's game wrap: CQ v Northern
While South East Queensland may have already wrapped up the State Carnival championship courtesy of strong wins on Friday and Saturday over the Crows and North Queensland; Sunday's contest between the Central and NQ Women's teams was anything but a foregone conclusion.
Central Queensland had been convincing winners over the North Queensland Marlins in both 2015 and 2016, and the Marlins last win over CQ was a dour 16-14 encounter in 2014.
In the past, the Central Queensland teams have had the good fortune of featuring a number of rep players and in good signs for the area; players in key positions have remained intact over the past few seasons. This year however, NQ boasted their own rep stars to help the level the field with Jillaroos Renae Kunst Heather Ballinger returning and former Queensland Women’s representative Tarah Westera bringing skill and experience to the pack.
NQ pressed their pack advantage from the beginning and in workmanlike fashion had scored two unanswered tries in the first 30 minutes to Elsja Mosby and Westera, both from close range.
It took the Central Queensland side some time to click into gear as they struggled to get out of their own half, with clearing kicks by Courtney Lockwood the only way to keep the Marlins at a distance.
The last part of the first half showed much more promise for the Crows; however poor ball control in striking distance of the tryline meant that these opportunities could not be converted to points. The North Queensland side went to the break leading 10-0.
The second half saw the tables turn with the North Queensland side unable to complete sets, handing over possession in their own territory.
After a number of sets, the Crows were able to take advantage of the tiring Marlins as hooker Sarah Walker scored from dummy half under the posts untouched.
Just 10 minutes later, CQ had the Marlins trapped in their own 20 and a turnover provided the Crows with a set that went through the hands out to Jillaroos Chelsea Baker on the wing to score.
Locked up at 10-10, the final 10 minutes of the match became a see-sawing affair and both team had tries denied; Central from a knock on and North Queensland from a forward pass.
The game ended in draw in which each side had opportunities, but were equally matched over the 70 minutes.
The match was a good way to close out the Women’s division of the tournament which showcased some great skill across the three days of competition.
>>> See the results from all the QRL A Grade and Women’s State Carnival here: Full Results