Three-match women’s Origin worth wait after 2023 fiasco

Queensland captain Ali Brigginshaw and Jaime Chapman of NSW with the Origin shield.

Queensland captain Ali Brigginshaw and Jaime Chapman of NSW with the Origin shield. Photo: Getty

Queensland captain Ali Brigginshaw says tears of joy will be shed when the three-game women’s State of Origin showpiece kicks off, as she pinpointed a controversial moment that led to the historic series.

The May 16 clash at Suncorp Stadium between the Maroons and New South Wales will be the first time a women’s stand-alone Origin match has been played at the venue.

It also marks the start of the first three-game series in women’s Origin history, and the opening match will be played, also for the first time, a day before the NRL’s Magic Round kicks off in Brisbane.

Last year the two-game Origin series was drawn 1-1, but the Maroons won on for and against. It left a sour taste for both states.

The decision by the NRL to go to three games was born partly from last year’s fiasco, Brigginshaw said.

“I believe that things happen in the women’s game for a reason. If it was 2-0 to us last year we might not have got the extra game,” she said.

“Because it was 1-1 I believe it all worked for the betterment of the game, and we got three games because of it.”

NSW outside back Jaime Chapman recalled the aftermath of last year’s 1-1 result as a turning point.

“Last year we both won a game and it was the weirdest feeling I have ever felt,” she told AAP.

“We won the second game, but to see the Maroons up there celebrating was quite bizarre. Now it is just so exciting and we can only go forward with three games.”

Brigginshaw debuted in the old interstate “series” in 2009. She recalled having an injured shoulder in 2011 and missed the last women’s interstate match to be played at Suncorp Stadium.

“I remember sitting in the stands and there were a couple of hundred people all (enclosed) in one area and it didn’t feel like a crowd at all,” she said.

“To know we are pushing for a record crowd at Suncorp Stadium (for a women’s Origin game) and we will run out before Magic Round starts is just unbelievable.

“I know there are so many ladies I played with in the Maroons jersey in those early years who would have only dreamt of this opportunity.

“They will be in the stands or at home with a tear in their eye when we run out.”

Brigginshaw, 34, said she has no intention of retiring at the end of this year.

“I am more competitive than ever. I haven’t lost my love for the game,” she said.

Brigginshaw’s Jillaroos teammate Chapman has been a star for the Gold Coast in the NRLW and thrives in the Origin arena.

“Origin is so different to any other game with the rivalry,” she said.

“It is tough. It has that bit of mongrel, and you can let out all your aggression on the field against Queensland.”

Winning the opening match will be vital for NSW, with the second Origin clash in Newcastle on June 6 and the third in Townsville on June 27.


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