Queensland’s Meg Ward on a collision course with NSW’s Isabelle Kelly during the Women's State of Origin match at North Sydney Oval on June 22
Queensland’s Meg Ward on a collision course with NSW’s Isabelle Kelly during the Women's State of Origin match at North Sydney Oval on June 22

Blues conspiracy crosses gender divide

QUEENSLAND is at risk of being dudded for the 2019 women's State of Origin, with the NRL considering giving NSW the home advantage for a third consecutive year.

The Courier-Mail understands the NRL is looking at a return to North Sydney Oval next season, with the game to be held during the standalone representative weekend.

Given this year's women's Origin was held in Sydney and the 2016 interstate challenge was played in Wollongong, Queensland could be shut out from their home turf for a third straight year.

It could be a massive blow for the side, especially as they fight to end NSW's three-year reign.

Queensland great Mal Meninga is just one who has thrown his support behind the women, claiming they should not be treated any differently to the men.

"Of course the next game should be played in Queensland," Meninga said.

"It should alternate between the states every year. Wearing the Maroon jersey in Queensland is a source of massive pride for any footballer, so why should our women's team be any different?

"To be able to represent Queensland in front of your family and friends … that is what the game is all about."

Maroons coach Kevin Walters also called on the NRL to put Queensland first.

"I would have thought it needs to be in Queensland," he said.

"It's a big advantage for NSW."

 

Maroons skipper Karina Brown says a home crowd is a definite advantage.
Maroons skipper Karina Brown says a home crowd is a definite advantage.

 

It is understood the QRL has put forward a number of options for where they could host the game, including Redcliffe, Langlands Park and Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

In a statement yesterday the NRL said: "we're currently working on our 2019 season structure and once that's confirmed, we'll reveal the season in full."

This year's Origin was a resounding success, with 7000 people in attendance while TV ratings peaked at just over one million.

NSW won the match in the dying minutes of the game, claiming a 16-10 victory.

Queensland skipper Karina Brown said the crowd made a huge difference that night.

"It would be great to have it in Queensland next year, particularly for the next generation coming through," she said.

"I saw all the little NSW girls cheering for them. I could hear the chants and it certainly lifted NSW home in the last five minutes."

Veteran forward Steph Hancock also said she had no doubt Queenslanders would turn out in support if given the chance.

"It's our turn," she said.

"Of course we want a home game … it's only fair. We can fill the stands."



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