Kelly the hero as NSW beat Queensland in Women's Origin
NSW have scored a late try to pull off a 16-10 victory and claim the inaugural women's Holden State of Origin in front of 6824 fans on Friday night at North Sydney Oval.
Scores were locked at 10-10 in a tense affair after both sides went try-for-try until Sam Bremner linked with Isabelle Kelly five minutes from full-time to snatch victory for the Blues.
Bremner was dominant for NSW, playing a part in all three tries, two of which were scored by Kelly, who later earned the official Woman of the Match award.
It is the third consecutive victory for the Blues over the Maroons and the first under the Origin banner.
The Blues suffered an early blow with Corban McGregor (dislocated shoulder) taken from the field after five minutes.
NSW couldn't capitalise on their first chance close to the line but were in two minutes later with a slick back-line movement from Maddie Studdon and Bremner finished off by Kelly in the corner.
Studdon made a sideline conversion look easy but Queensland went up another gear to dominate the remainder of the opening half.
Match: NSW Women v QLD Women
Round 1 -
Venue: North Sydney Oval
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A penalty conceded by Talesha Quinn late in the tackle count allowed Brittany Breayley to send Karina Brown down a short side in the corner to get the visitors on the board.
Chelsea Baker matched Studdon's goal-kicking efforts with a sideline conversion over her own.
Things got worse for the Blues with further injuries to Vanessa Foliaki and Rebecca Riley, as the Maroons looked to take advantage late in the first half.
The Maroons threatened on two more occasions but couldn't come up with a killer blow before half-time and the score remained 6-6 at the break.
Both teams shot themselves in the foot with repeated handling errors in promising attacking positions, but regular bone-jarring hits left no doubt it was an Origin clash.
NSW started strongly in the second half with a try through Nakia-Davis Welsh after some smart build up play from Bremner.
But Queensland responded with Ali Brigginshaw throwing a dummy close to the line before sending Brown over for a double.
Both sides went set-for-set in an entertaining clash until the class of Kelly proved too much for the Maroons outfit out wide.
News and notes: Corban McGregor suffered a dislocated shoulder in the opening half ... Crowd: 6824 ... NSW win the inaugural Holden State of Origin match ... The Blues have not lost since 2014.