The NSW women’s State of Origin team train at the NSWRL Centre of Excellence in Homebush ahead of their clash against Queensland next Friday night. L-R Kezie Apps and Keeley Davis stretch. Picture: Toby ZernaSource:News Corp Australia
New South Wales skipper Kezie Apps is hellbent on avenging last year’s loss to Queensland and claiming the women’s Origin shield on enemy soil for the first time.
Injury-free for the first time in several seasons, Apps is ready to throw down the gauntlet an lead the Blues into battle on the Sunshine Coast as they attempt to wrest back Origin supremacy.
“Playing Queensland up in Queensland is a challenge in itself, they always seem to find that extra motivation up there,” Apps said.
“We need to shut down a few of their players, Ali Brigginshaw is one of them. We need to make sure we take the time off her, because she’s an amazing player and an amazing athlete.
“Hopefully we can take some time off her to shut them down.
“We need to be better with our errors, hold the ball as much as possible and just play footy.”
Stream selected Fox League shows on Kayo Freebies completely free this June including NRL 360, Sunday Night with Matty Johns, Big League Wrap & more. No Credit Card. No-brainer. Register Free Now >
The Blues are looking for revenge after their first interstate loss since 2014. Picture: Toby ZernaSource:News Limited
Apps headlines a strong Blues squad that includes Jillaroos stars Isabelle Kelly, Jess Sergis, Corban Baxter, Millie Boyle and Simaima Taufa.
Clever hooker Keeley Davis will also make her belated Origin debut after she was ruled out on the day of the match last year.
With recently retired legend Kylie Hilder calling the shots as coach and Ruan Sims, Geoff Toovey and Glen Hall acting as her deputies, the Blues will fancy their chances of upsetting the Maroons.
After a forgettable season last year that was blighted by injuries, Apps is keen to put her stamp on the match and lead the Blues from the front.
Maddie Studdon and the Blues are looking to get their first win over the Maroons in Queensland. Picture: Toby ZernaSource:News Limited
She’s been getting consistent football under her belt for Helensburgh in the NSW Women’s Premiership, switching from her usual position of second row to lock, and should be one of the Blues main attacking threats.
“We have such a talented squad, we did last year as well but were blessed to have the same again. I’m really excited to finally get here.
“I’m injury free, so I’m really excited about that. It’s been a while, I can’t remember the last time I came in without an injury. Last year wasn’t my year, I had the worst year ever.
“But this time I’ve been able to play for Helensburgh for 12 games straight, no injuries, I’m playing decent footy each week. I’m feeling really confident in myself, which will help with the team.”
1. Tamika Upton 2. Shenae Ciesiolka 3. Lauren Brown 4. Julia Robinson 5. Karina Brown 6. Tarryn Aiken 7. Zahara Temara 8. Chelsea Lenarduzzi 9. Destiny Brill 10. Shannon Mato 11. Tazmin Gray 12. Tiana Raftstrand-Smith 13. Ali Brigginshaw (c) 14. Romy Teitzel 15. Natassja Purontakanen 16. Shaniah Power 17. Brianna Clark 18. Tallisha Harden 19. Rona Peters
NEW SOUTH WALES
1. Botille Vette-Welsh 2. Yasmin Meakes 3. Jess Sergis 4. Isabelle Kelly 5. Tiana Penitani 6. Corban Baxter 7. Maddie Studdon 8. Simaima Taufa 9. Keeley Davis 10. Millie Boyle 11. Kezie Apps (c) 12. Sarah Togatuki 13. Hannah Southwell 14. Quincy Dodd 15. Filomina Hanisi 16. Kennedy Cherrington 17. Holli Wheeler 18. Brydie Parker 19. Renee Targett
Originally published asWhy Blues are desperate for revenge on enemy soil