Almanac Rugby League – 2020 Women’s State of Origin: A spectacular game in prospect




‘The other’ State of Origin clash this week takes place tomorrow night when Queensland takes on New South Wales in the women’s annual clash at the Sunshine Coast Stadium. This marks the third time the women’s interstate series has been played under the State of Origin banner. NSW currently holds bragging rights after wins in the 2018 and 2019 matches.


Looking through the team sheets, it should be an exciting clash. Two sets of strong forwards and two sets of pacy backs set the scene for a game to be played as a 70-minute encounter. Both teams have made several changes to last year’s line-ups with Queensland fielding a new look backline while NSW has made changes across the park. For the Blues, key players Kezie Apps and Isabelle Kelly have to overcome injuries to take their places.


It’s very hard to split the teams. Queensland look a bit stronger in the forwards while NSW appear to be slightly ahead in the backline; both teams feature power forwards as well as game-breakers in their halves and out wide; the fullbacks, Tamika Upton (Qld) and Botille Vette-Welsh (NSW), are experts at backing up attacking play and running with verve and purpose. The selection of Ali Brigginshaw at lock gives Queensland an extra playmaker alongside Zahara Temara and Tarryn Aiken; NSW answers with Nos. 1-6 who are capable of tearing any defence apart. The presence or absence of Apps and/or Kelly could be a significant factor.


I’m really looking forward to this match because I’m a big fan of the women’s game and here are most of the best players in the competition on the field, all at the same time. Perhaps the home crowd will give the Maroons a bit of an edge as well as a couple of the Blues perhaps carrying injuries into the game. But the Blues have the record on the board and Queensland are the chasers. Perhaps the 35-minute halves will test out the forwards and give the faster players the chance to strut their stuff late in each half. A high-scoring affair would not surprise me one little bit. Top-flight referee Belinda Sharpe will be in charge.


I’ll go with the home side to get up by <6 in what promises to be a fast, hard and exciting match likely to be decided late in the second half.


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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of Footy Almanac's online editors, I moonlight as an editor for hire - check me out at

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