The NSW Under 19 women struck the first blow on a weekend of Origin rivalry with a 22-6 win over Queensland Under 19s at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday night.
After winning last year's clash on the Sunshine Coast the Blues made it back-to-back victories thanks to standout performances from centre Andie Robinson and fullback Jada Taylor.
Robinson snared a hat-trick and Taylor a double as the Blues turned a narrow half-time lead into a runaway victory.
After a nervous start from both sides it was NSW who struck first when Robinson finished off some great lead-up work by five-eighth Losana Lutu and Taylor.
Robinson streaks away to open the scoring
As one of the Blues' two "marquee" under 20s players Robinson lived up to her billing with a swerving 30-metre run to post the game's first four-pointer before the Maroons answered back through one of their marquees.
Tweed Seagulls playmaker Jada Ferguson got into dummy half on the last tackle and saw an opportunity down the short side, putting winger Titans flyer Jetaya Faifua away down the left wing before taking the return pass to score.
Six minutes later the Blues had a second try when Taylor powered over from dummy half to make it 8-6.
Jada Taylor does it all herself
A member of the Roosters' Indigenous Academy side which claimed the Tarsha Gale Cup title in April, Taylor enjoyed a fine first half in attack and defence.
With half-time approaching the Maroons looked to have regained the lead when Otesa Pule left four defenders in her wake to crash over but replays showed she had lost control of the ball and the bunker ruled 'no try'.
A loose pass by Maroons centre Emmanita Paki in the 38th minute opened the door for the Blues and they capitalised through Robinson, who crossed from close range after Lotu had bamboozled the defence with some sweet stepping.
Ferguson hits back in style for Queensland
Reuben Cherrington, the younger sister of Eels star Kennedy Cherrington, then piloted a tough conversion to make it 14-6 to the Blues.
Robinson completed her hat-trick in the 47th minute when Monalisa Soliola, Leilani Wilson and Jules Kirkpatrick combined well with slick hands to give her a clear run to the line.
Taylor then iced the win with a stunning 105-metre try after cleaning up a kick in her own in goal and swerving past several defenders before going the distance, despite a gallant chase from her Roosters team-mate Pule.
The runaway try took Taylor's tally to 200 run metres for the night and capped a memorable game from the fullback.
Jada Taylor wins 2022 Nat Dwyer Medal
- Andie Robinson is the daughter of former first-grader Clint Robinson, who played 52 games for Balmain between 1987-92 alongside the likes of Steve Roach, Ben Elias and Wayne Pearce.
- Jasmine Peters scored four tries and had 14 tackle breaks in five matches for the Titans in the NRLW season.
- Maroons prop Fiona Jahnke left the field for a HIA in the 16th minute which she passed.
- The Blues racked up 11 line breaks across the 60 minutes compared to Queensland's one.
- Jada Taylor carried on her tryscoring form from the National Championships earlier this month where she grabbed a double for NSW Country against Queensland.
- The Blues had 51 tackle breaks to the Maroons' 16.
- Jacinta Carter gave the Maroons great impact off the bench with 100 running metres.
What They Said
“We had a special week in camp so it was very important for us to get out here and put on a really good performance for our state, our families and all of the crowd. It’s very important and very special to receive it (Player of the Match award) but I definitely think it’s off the back of a lot of hard work – of my team not me.” - Blues fullback Jada Taylor
"I thought it would be a hard game where the last 10 or 15 minutes would come down to it. But I think throughout the game we were definitely the better team. We didn't execute on a couple of plays but when we did we looked pretty good. It's always hard to come back and try and win it again after winning previously so it feels a bit surreal at the moment and it'll definitely be a night to remember."
- Blues coach Blake Cavallaro
Play of the Game
Jada Taylor capped a wonderful game with a try from her own in goal in the 54th minute which had to be seen to be believed. Cleaning up a grubber kick just inches from the dead ball line, the Roosters' Indigenous Academy star got away from the kicker Jada Ferguson and weaved her way past two more defenders before setting sail for the tryline. Taylor's star turn at fullback earned her player of the match honours, serving notice of big things to come for the Roosters in the 2022 NRLW season.
A length of the field special from Taylor