Redfern mum Lavina Phillips scored two tries to lead the NSW Indigenous women's team to a hard-fought and entertaining 12-4 win over the Queensland Indigenous women's team at Hunter Stadium on Saturday.
Phillips, playing in a curtain-raiser match ahead of her brother Kareel's much-anticipated turnout for the inaugural First Nations Goannas clash with the Newcastle Knights, opened the scoring 10 minutes into the first half before halfback Kiya Simon converted to give the Blues a 6-0 lead.
Queensland finally hit back in an even and hard-fought tussle in the second half with centre Chantelle Dodd forcing her way across the line with 11minutes to go, taking the score to 6-4 with the conversion unsuccessful.
With less than two minutes to go Phillips put the match beyond doubt for NSW as she barged through the Queensland defence for her second try, which was converted by Khloe Caldwell.
"I'm so excited," Philips said after the win. "It's my first game playing in this position so I hope I proved myself but it was really a team effort.
"I could not be more proud to represent my community and it was great to have my little girl watch us."
NSW coach Dean Widders said: "It's no coincidence that the girls won.
"The girls have put in the hard yards for months and have all shown great commitment; they deserved to win.
"They've had the best attitude, no excuses, they just get it done. It's made the whole week a dream."
NSW Women's Indigenous Team 12 (tries: Lavina Phillips 2; goals: Kiya Simon, Khloe Caldwell) def QLD Women's Indigenous Team 4 (try: Chantelle Dodd)