Tamika Upton hoping to ride Queensland wave in Origin II

Tamika Upton hopes Queensland can ride a wave of home support to an Origin triumph on Thursday.

Tamika Upton hopes Queensland can ride a wave of home support to an Origin triumph on Thursday. Photo: AAP

Queensland fullback Tamika Upton hopes an expected record crowd in Townsville will provide some extra gusto as her side looks to seal a first State of Origin series win over NSW since 2021 on Thursday.

The Maroons won game one 18-10 on enemy soil and can wrap up the two-match series with victory or with a loss by seven points or less, under the series’ aggregate scoring system.

More than 15,000 are expected to cheer the Maroons home in Townsville on Thursday and Upton says their own northern cauldron could be the difference.

“It just makes for a better footy game when you’re out there and hear the crowd – especially when they’re getting behind us, not like in Sydney,” she told reporters on Monday.

“I’ve been in the game for four or five years now and each each year it’s growing.

“When you’re out there and you’ve got people behind you it’s amazing.”

The Maroons have been forced into one change with double try-scorer from game one Julia Robinson suspended, moving North Queensland Cowboy representative China Polata into the starting side.

Upton has no doubts Polata will perform well on the wing after covering the role for an injured Robinson in the build-up to game one.

With the series occurring prior to the NRLW season, both teams chalked up a combined 30 errors in game one.

Upton is adamant with a solid camp and preparation, both teams will be at their best at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

Her Maroons side completed an opposed session against the NRLW Cowboys on arrival in Townsville.

“It was a great start to our camp just to get some opposed in; usually we’re playing against each other,” she said.

“Our training has been really good and we’ve picked up where we left off, which we haven’t been able to do in previous years.

“We’ve got gameplay we can fall back on, go and watch and improve on, so it’s been really good.”


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