Sky Blues blitz Queensland in front of record Women’s Origin crowd to claim Game I


New South Wales has laid down a marker in this year’s Women’s State of Origin, powering past Queensland 22-12 to win Game I at Lang Park

In front of a record crowd of 25,492 the Sky Blues intensity and power blew their hosts away in the opening stages, with Jaime Chapman instrumental in the visitors establishing a 12-0 lead inside 10 minutes.

Her break freed Emma Tonegato for the opening score, before the Titans winger completed a solo 70-metre run to score under the posts, leaving a trail of shell-shocked Maroons in her wake.

Jamie Chapman dives over the line

Jaime Chapman broke the Queensland defence seemingly every time she touched the ball in the first half.(AAP Image: Dave Hunt)

“Everyone doubted us,” Chapman told Channel 9.

“We had no games under our belt and we did a pre-season and [coach] Kylie [Hilder] done a great job to make sure we were ready for Game I.”

Penalty goals either side of half-time from Rachael Pearson saw the Sky Blues take a 16-0 lead before the Maroons could lay a glove on their bitter rivals.

Tamika Upton eventually crossed for the Maroons with 15 minutes remaining, raising hopes of a dramatic comeback.

But when Caitlan Johnston crashed over with six minutes remaining, the result was all but sealed.

Emily Bass ensured the Maroons had the final say, crossing in the corner to reduce the deficit to 22-12 at the final siren.

“They started really well and we were two steps behind for the first 10 minutes,” Queensland five eighth Tarryn Aiken said.

“[It was] Too hard to climb back in the end. Really disappointing.

“Lucky we have a three-game series.”

The match is the first time the Origin series has been played over three games, with all the players effusive about getting to run out two more times this season.

“I feel like we are creating a legacy here,” player of the match Yasmin Clydsdale said of playing in a three-game series for the first time.

“First game of the three series. Super important moving forward that we will always have the three games.”

There is time for the Maroons to hit back, but the defending champions will know that they have a lot of work to do when the series moves to Newcastle on June 6. 

Look back at how the game unfolded in our live blog below.

Key events

That’s where we’ll leave you

NSW Sky Blues players wave to fans after Women's State of Origin I.
(Getty)

As the final few players sign their final few autographs on the field, we will also bid you farewell.

As we do every week, we’ll have extensive live blog coverage of Magic Round from Friday through Sunday on ABC Sport.

And of course we’ll be back on June 5 for men’s Origin I, followed by the second game of this Women’s Origin series the next night in Newcastle.

In the meantime, especially if you’re in Brisbane for Magic Round, just be good and look out for each other would ya?

Miserable times for Queensland

Tamika Upton and Emma Manzelmann look sad during Women's State of Origin.
(Getty)

Some of the Queenslanders were too distraught to speak to former Maroons captain Karina Brown for ABC Sport on the field after the game.

Brown and Origin legend Billy Moore say it’s good to hear.

“They’re passionate and it means something to them,” Brown says.

“Sometimes you’re just not up for a chat after a loss like that.”

‘I wasn’t State of Origin material’: Queensland halfback a dejected figure

Roosters and Maroons number seven Zehara Temara is gutted as she speaks to former Maroons captain Karina Brown on ABC Sport.

Zehara Temara passes a ball for Queensland Maroons during Women's State of Origin.
(Getty)

“Disappointing. We worked hard in our preparation. It’s a bit disappointing we’re not putting what we’re doing in practise out on the field,” Temara tells ABC Sport.

Temara says she has a lot to improve on.

“We need to act quickly.

“I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t State of Origin material.”

Jaime Chapman happy to defy the doubters

Jaime Chapman runs with the ball for the NSW Sky Blues in Women's State of Origin.
(Getty)

Her second half didn’t quite scale the heights of that opening 15 minutes, but NSW winger Jaime Chapman was sensational tonight and her brilliant start was the opening blow that rattled the Maroons and set up this win.

“Pretty happy. We had a job to do, to come to Queensland and win it on their home ground,” she tells ABC Sport.

“The atmosphere was amazing.

Chapman credits NSW’s seven-week preseason for overcoming the lack of a club season leading in, which Queensland had.

“We had a very good preparation coming in, everyone kind of doubted NSW having no games,” she says.

NSW wins the Women’s State of Origin series opener!

NSW Sky Blues players hug during the Women's State of Origin.
(Getty)

The 22-12 win over Queensland on the Maroons’ patch was a complete performance from this NSW Sky Blues, who overcame the lack of a premiership season in the lead-up, but coach Kylie Hilder clearly had them in phenomenal touch for this contest.

They absolutely blitzed Queensland out of the gates and weathered an almighty comeback in the second half, and refocused to seal the win.

Aside from that 15 or so minutes in the middle of the second half, NSW was in total control of the game thanks to … well, the entire team.

The back five – led by Emma Tonegato and Jaime Chapman – were immense, and the likes of Caitlan Johnston, Grace Kemp, Olivia Kernick and Yasmin Clydsdale owned the ruck.

The Maroons have plenty of soul searching to do, but will take some hope from that second-half comeback.

70′ The clock winds down on a brilliant night of footy

One last handling error from these exhausted Maroons and NSW will end the night with the ball in their hands. Can they put an exclamation mark on it?

The Maroons finish the night on a high

Tarryn Aiken’s chip kick nutmegs Jaime Chapman (the only blemish on her evening) and Emily Bass dives over to score in the corner.

And Zehara Temara converts off the crossbar from the sideline to make it as close as possible, but thankfully, we don’t need to care about for-and-against this year.

67′ All smiles for NSW with three minutes left

Taliah Fuimaono is hugged on the sidelines for NSW Sky Blues during Women's State of Origin.
(Getty)

CAITLAN JOHNSTON SEALS THE WIN FOR NSW!

The utterly dominant prop is as unstoppable as any forward in the NRLW and the new Cronulla signing seals the victory for the Sky Blues, charging through Shannon Mato, Tamika Upton and Romy Teitzel from close range.

Johnston spoke earlier this week about the body-shaming she received online after her signing with the Sharks was announced, and this performance tonight, while it’s nothing more than what we expect from her, is a phenomenal “stuff you” to those trolling morons.

63′ NSW gets a repeat set right on Queensland’s tryline

The Maroons knock on 10 metres in front of their line and the Sky Blues set a scrum in the middle of the field.

62′ Emma Manzelmann bombs a try!

The number 14 has completely swung the game in Queensland’s favour since coming onto the field and perfectly spies a late-retreating defender, scooting over next to the posts, but she’s just dropped it cold over the line!

60′ Getting fiery as we head into the final 10 minutes

The Sky Blues can feel the Maroons surging and there’s some frustration setting in out there.

A few shots are slipping up and there’s a bit of rubbish in the ruck, but Kasey Badger is letting the girls play.

Tamika Upton forces a line dropout with a perfectly weighted grubber that Emma Tonegato bumps over the dead-ball line.

58′ Try-saver from Rachael Pearson!!

Emma Manzelmann and Ali Brigginshaw, fresh back on the field for Lauren Brown, had them shot to bits through the middle and then spun it out left. It looked like Tarryn Aiken was through,but Rachael Pearson arrived from nowhere to stop her dead.

Absolute game-changing play from the halfback.

And the Maroons’ last tackle falls apart out on the right.

The Maroons finally get on the board and of course it’s Tamika Upton

It was a little blindside sneak from close, not exactly the scything, loping run that we’ve come to expect from her, but it was a brilliant moment of footballing IQ from a women who knows how to sniff out a try.

“She’s the run, she’s the gun, she’s the pointy end of the Queensland attack,” Billy Moore says on ABC Sport.

The Women’s State of Origin record crowd confirmed

There are 25,492 people at Lang Park tonight, smashing last year’s record by 7,000.

“It makes me so proud,” says the first Maroons Women’s State of Origin captain, Karina Brown, on ABC Sport.

“Huge thanks to the fans for coming out.”

51′ Maroons blow another chance

‘The Maroons must score this set of six,” says Billy Moore on ABC Sport, just before Tarryn Aiken knocks it on cold as Queensland try to put on a left-side shift.

The diminutive Aiken put her body in the line with big hits on Jaime Chapman and Emma Tonegato, but she looks gassed now.

49′ Metres on offer for NSW

The middle for the Maroons is very vulnerable right now with Tarryn Aiken, Destiny Brill, Lauren Brown and Zehara Temara all on the park.

Grace Kemp runs into the Queensland defence for NSW in Women's State of Origin.
(Getty)

46′ Enormous change for the Maroons

Captain Ali Brigginshaw comes off and Lauren Brown comes on.

Brown is a superstar who can play anywhere (reminds me of Shaun Berrigan because she’s a world-class outside back and hooker) but it looks she’s slotted straight into dummy half.

44′ Queensland scrambles to deny Chapman and Sergis

The cross-field kick yet again finds Jaime Chapman, but Emily Bass stops her down low and Evania Pelite scrambles to force Jess Sergis into touch after offload, with her desperate pass back in-field cleaned up for Queensland by Tazmin Rapana.

42′ Maroons find some pressure at the other end

Five-eighth Tarryn Aiken rolls in the grubber and it sits up perfectly. Emma Tonegato can only stand under it and get thumped back into the in-goal by Tazmin Rapana and Evania Pelite.

Queensland has another chance.

But debutant Makenzie Weale knocks on and the chance goes begging.

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