Some of the NRLW’s biggest names have renewed calls for the women’s State of Origin series to be extended to three games in line with the men’s series.
Previously a stand-alone game, women’s State of Origin was extended to two matches this year, only for it to end in farcical scenes.
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After Queensland won the opener 18-10, NSW had to win the second game by nine points to claim the series victory on points aggregate.
They won Game two 18-14, but it wasn’t enough as Queensland clinched the series win by four points.
The results prompted bizarre scenes in Townsville last month when Queensland celebrated despite losing the deciding game.
It wasn’t a great look and immediately sparked widespread calls for the women’s State of Origin series to be extended to the full complement of three games.
NSW Blues stars Jess Sergis and Tiana Penitani said the time has come for a three match series.
“It was very bizarre if I’m honest,” Sergis told news.com.au.
“That week of prep the goal was not to chase points. We had to win by nine points but we had to push that aside and knew that if we played the footy we can play, the points would come.
“Only winning by four points, it was a very bizarre feeling. Origin for us is the highest intensity, hardest games we play all year, and to win that in itself is hard but to try and win by nine points, I think was a little bit silly.
“It was bittersweet, we obviously won the game and not the series. But you know what, it was probably the best outcome for all of us because it started the conversation with the public and they just thought it was as silly as we did.”
Penitani, who has joined the Cronulla Sharks for their inaugural NRLW season, agreed it was commonsense to now play three Origin games.
“I would love to see it go to three games,” Penitani said.
“It was the best case scenario to show the people at the top that make those decisions that two games isn’t ideal for our game.
“It was a bit of a weird feeling. We were excited to have won the game but realised quite quickly it didn’t mean we got to hold onto the shield. It was bittersweet and it kind of felt very different to what Origin normally feels like.
“It was a little bit anticlimactic if I’m honest but hopefully it’s a catalyst for change moving forward. I think we play enough football now to withstand three games. It’s definitely what we want as players and it’s what the fans want too.”
Sergis said the players would rather play a stand-alone game than a two-match series.
“Hopefully that pushes us to having a game three next year,” she said.
“Otherwise we’d probably prefer the one if we’re honest and whoever wins that takes the series, rather than the two.
The NRLW has been cautious of expanding too quickly, but the players say they are ready to stand up to the rigours of an intense three games of Origin.
“I think we’re definitely ready,” Sergis said.
“We all pulled up fine. Our game got even better the second game, so give us the three I say.”