Maroons Women's coach calls for three-game series
Queensland women's coach Jason Hetherington was proud of his beaten Maroons outfit and says it is only a matter of time before games are extended to 80 minutes and into a three-game series.
The Maroons stood tall in their 16-10 loss to the Blues at North Sydney Oval on Friday night in front of 6824 supporters at the standalone fixture.
But Hetherington felt the weight of coaching when he couldn't get Maroons utility Mariah Storch into the game on the back of 30-minute halves.
He also failed to use all eight of his interchanges due to the reduced minutes.
"I think you'd have to progress up to it, go to 35 minutes [first]," Hetherington said when asked about the prospect of 40-minute halves.
"It would make my job easier and give everyone a run. You've got four reserves with eight interchange and you want to give everyone equal opportunity but it didn't end up that way."
"You could go to 35 and see how that works and then eventually get up to 40.
"I'd love two more games, that's a part of it. Small steps at this stage but that will also be the ultimate goal."
It's understood the 60-minute games are also expected to extend to the women's Holden NRL premiership in September.
Hetherington though was proud of an incredible performance from the Maroons, who went close to pulling off an upset in greasy conditions away from home.
"We could've really struggled but they got into the wrestle and the girls got on top in certain periods of that game," Hetherington said.
"I thought it was a great game of footy on both sides. I could see it coming, they worked it well, pulled us in the middle.
"The Blues were smart enough to create the numbers and got the tries."
Hetherington went to great lengths during the week to give the women's side a taste of Origin, arranging a lunch with the men's side before hiring former Maroons legends Allan Langer and Trevor Gillmeister to run the drinks.
The Maroons coach said the side was feeling good heading into the match.
"They were confident which was great, we had a great week and tried to introduce an Origin feel with what we were doing," Hetherington said.
"I thought they were right up for the game, that was the most pleasing thing for me. It was a wonderful effort."
Maroons skipper Karina Brown added the desire to cause an upset from the visitors was second to none before declaring it was time to bring an Origin game back to Queensland after back-to-back years in NSW.
"It's disappointing, to lose that close but I'm proud of the effort tonight," Brown said.
"The atmosphere was electric but very blue, you could hear the crowd and it was lifting them.
"Bring it back to Queensland next year hey?"