Sky Blues go down fighting in Women's Origin I


The Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues have gone down fighting 18-10 in Game One of the Ampol Women’s State of Origin series but are still a hope of retaining the Shield with Game Two to be held in Townsville on 22 June.

The Sky Blues never gave up hope but finished on the wrong end of the possession count (45 per cent), and only completed at 60 per cent to make life hard for themselves.

Their case wasn’t helped after co-captain Isabelle Kelly was taken to hospital after copping a forearm to the throat late in the first half which proved to be a pivotal moment with the Maroons going on to score to take a 10-6 lead while the Sky Blues were reduced to 12 players.

“She’s in hospital, she’s not great and there are concerns around her throat,” Harvey Norman NSW Sky Blues coach Kylie Hilder said.

“it’s a big concern for me when we’ve got a player on the ground in discomfort and not in a great way and she was struggling to breathe.

“I am very concerned about her now and I still don’t understand why there wasn’t even a penalty for that when she was hit in the throat.”

The Ampol Women’s State of Origin moved to a two-game series this year which will be decided on aggregate if both teams finish at 1-all. Effectively that means the Sky Blues will have to win by nine points in Townsville, and Hilder was confident they could improve.

“I honestly don’t think we could play as bad as we did tonight,” Hilder said. “We’ve got the talent there and I think just the execution (was bad) and too many dropped balls and too many penalties.

“We have two games so that is a bonus, and we know now that we have to win by nine (points). It probably puts a lot more pressure and you can see from that last 10 minutes (when we were) chasing points that’s obviously when we made more mistakes.