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Maroon’s Women snatch Origin Victory

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Maroon’s Women snatch Origin Victory

A controversial final minute penalty has gifted Queensland an 8-6 win over New South Wales and back-to-back Women’s State of Origin titles at a wet Sunshine Coast Stadium. An estimated 7200 committed fans braved the weather and packed into the stadium to witness a home team victory.

The Sky Blues saw red after Friday’s match, accusing Chelsea Lenarduzzi of “milking” the penalty when Filomina Hanisi pulled her leg as the Maroons prop tried to play the ball right in front of the posts.

The hard-fought clash held in miserable weather looked headed for golden point, but New South Wales were left shattered when Queensland centre Lauren Brown slotted the match-winning penalty with just 20 seconds left.

“It is just a really s*** way to lose a game right on full-time,” says rookie Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder.

New South Wales captain Kezie Apps was left shaking her head over the call that ensured Queensland backed up from last year’s 24-18 win and squared the Origin ledger at 2-2. “I thought she was milking it,” she says of Lenarduzzi.

Lenarduzzi celebrated after the penalty was blown, no doubt breathing a sigh of relief after her gaffe helped New South Wales lock it up at 6-6 and ensure a tense finish.

Lenarduzzi was placed on report for a dangerous tackle in the 52nd minute before recalled Sky Blues No.7 Maddie Studdon slotted the penalty kick to level the scores.

Maroons coach Tahnee Norris says she thought the last-minute penalty made up for Queensland No.1 Tamika Upton’s 64th minute disallowed try.

Upton’s effort was for nought after Julia Robinson was deemed to have obstructed NSW playmaker Corban Baxter in the lead-up.

“I think we were unlucky with the obstruction call before. We will take that penalty,” Norris says.                                  – AAP

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