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Womens Interstate Challenge at Leichhardt Oval

The 'Womens Interstate Challenge' between New South Wales and Queensland, will kick-off at 3:30pm on Saturday 19 July, at Leichhardt Oval.

This match will be the selection game for the Australian Jillaroos squad, who will play against New Zealand in Wollongong in November as part of the Four Nations tournament.

Although Queensland has won the past 15 encounters, head coach Brad Donald is adamant that the team is focussing on this weekend's game, rather than their winning streak. 

"Last year, I think the girls wanted to keep the record so we panicked a bit in the first half of our last encounter and didn't play particularly well," Donald said.

"In the second half we got back to playing footy, so it's important that we show composure and start much stronger on Saturday."

New South Wales head coach, Mathew Head, concedes his team is the underdog.

However, because it is only a one-match series, he believes it could be anyone's game on the day.

"It's a one off, so whoever gets the bounce of the ball will give themselves a good opportunity to win the game," Head said.

"One thing I've learnt is that we need to rip in right from the start.

"If we lose, it's not going to be because we didn't try."

Although both coaches will debut new squad members, Queensland will have the edge in experience.

Veteran halfback and captain, Karyn Murphy, will play her last game for her State, after debuting in 1999, the year Queensland began their reign.

For New South Wales, fullback Samantha Hammond will only be playing her third 'Women's Interstate Challenge' game.  However, she will play a key part if the Blues are to be successful.

"Samantha is a real threat with speed to burn," said Donald.

Although the backs, such has Murphy and Hammond, will be the ones to spark brilliance when the game is in the balance, coach Mathew Head, believes the game will be won in the forwards.

"It's Origin so it's going to come down to the forward pack and who can take their opportunities," Head said.

With Origin matches being traditionally defence-based, the New South Wales coach is focusing on shutting down Queensland's attack.

"We need to improve in our contact.  The girls need to keep putting their bodies on the line and stop Queensland from getting a roll on."

Donald says he is excited to see the development of Queensland rugby league in the future, as veterans move on and new stars emerge.

"We've got a mixture of youth and experience with really good girls coming through the system," said Donald.

"My main goal to come out of this game is that the new girls establish themselves in the squad as they are the future of our team."

The Interstate Challenge will kick off at 3:30pm at Leichhardt Oval.

Entry is $10 at the gate for the both the NSW VB Cup and Interstate.

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