Sixteen points in the second half lifted Queensland to a 20-14 victory in the Women's State of Origin U-19s on Thursday night at Kayo Stadium in Redcliffe.
Down 10-4 at the break, having been starved of the ball and outplayed in many areas of the game by New South Wales, Queensland came out of half-time a different side and powered to victory.
Interchange dummy-half Emily Bella changed the game when she entered the contest on 36 minutes, with her scheming runs causing countless errors for New South Wales.
The victory came despite the hosts having just 43 percent of the ball and completing at 69 percent, compared to their opponents who finished 87 percent of their uses with the ball.
Earlier it was Queensland who got the scoring going when a fumbled kick defusal presented Skyla Adams with the chance to dive on a loose ball.
Adams opens the scoring
After watching a chance go begging when Georgia Willey couldn't control a kick from Wests Tigers prospect Losana Lutu, the visitors eventually made the most of a prolonged period of possession to cross after a clever dummy-half run saw Chelsea Makira.
Raiders NRLW recruit Monalisa Soliola's ensuing conversion gave her side a 6-4 lead at the break, and it should have been more but for a missed penalty goal from right in front of the posts a short time later.
A well worked move down the left edge finished in Grace-Lee Weekes crossing to stretch her side's advantage to 10-4 at the break.
Weekes extends the lead
Destiny Mino-Sinapati put a couple of early second-half errors behind her to score her side's second try on 45 minutes, but with Bella unable to convert from out wide New South Wales still led by two.
On the very next set New South Wales gave away a penalty and piggy-backed Queensland back into attacking territory, with Bella racing out of dummy-half for a try.
A fourth Queensland try to Libby Surha looked to have secured the result, before Makira set up a tight finish when she went over for her double five minutes from time.
But it wasn't to be, and after back-to-back NSW triumphs in recent years, the 2023 contest belonged to Queensland.
Match: QLD U19s v NSW U19s
Round 1 -
Venue: Kayo Stadium, Redcliffe
- Against a lopsided possession count which saw NSW enjoy 57 percent of the ball, Queensland were required to make 31 extra tackles across the game.
- Queensland made eight errors in the match, twice as many as their opponents.
Queensland are getting physical
- Queensland interchange player Lily Peacock left the field for a HIA in the first half but was able to return in the second stanza.
- Interchange player Delaney Claridge (Queensland) was placed on report for a hip drop in the 26th minute, while NSW's Mercydes Faaeteete-Metcalf was cited for a high tackle seven minutes into the second half.
Play of the Game
A classy piece of play from the NSW No.9, who recognised Queensland hadn't got their line organised properly and went straight for the gap. Some nice footwork saw her evade the scrambling defence and dive over the line almost untouched.
Makira does it herself
What they said
"It was a great second half and it just came down to effort, they just kept on turning up for each other.
"I'm just really proud of just the intensity that they played with and they just kept on turning up. Those one percenters, we spoke about all week and just being a team and not individuals out there and playing as a unit and they just delivered in that second half." - Queensland Under 19 coach Deanne Turner