Rising fullback Lilly Ann White spurs NSW to record breaking Under 19s State of Origin triumph

Raymond Terrace Roosters junior Lilly Ann White helped NSW secure the Under 19s Womens Origin trophy with a strong debut performance in the record breaking 46-4 win over Queensland at Leichhardt Oval.

TEN months ago Port Stephens rugby league sensation Lilly-Ann White was calling the shots as a schoolgirl half back with the Raymond Terrace Magpies in the Newcastle Hunter Womens A Grade Rugby League competition.

Last Thursday at a chilly Leichhardt Oval the Tea Gardens native underlined her enormous potential by helping NSW lift the Women’s State of Origin Under 19s trophy with a record-breaking 46-4 triumph over Queensland as a dashing fullback.

The former Australian Schoolgirls ace produced a strong debut performance in the number one jumper as the ‘Baby Blues’ turned on the style with a nine-try rout.

Eighteen-year-old Lilly-Ann was joined in the Sky Blues team by Newcastle club mates Evah McEwen and utility half Evie Jones, who was also part of the NSW squad in 2023.

Rising Illawarra playmaker and Sky Blues skipper Kasey Reh was best on ground – mesmerising the Maroons with her tactical kicking and creating four tries plus scoring one herself in a masterclass display.

Talented centres Lindsay Tui and Indie Bostock, hooker Chelsea Savill, prop Bronte Wilson, winger Maria Paseka, five eighth Evie McGrath, lock forward Ryvrr-Lee Aloa and powerful back rower McEwen also notched tries with Savill (three) and second rower Charlotte Basham (two) landing five conversions as the Sky Blues posted the biggest winning margin since the Women’s Origin Under 19s conception back in 2021.

It has been a meteoric rise for Lilly-Ann since being named the Knights’ Tarsha Gale Cup Player of the Year last season.

The Raymond Terrace Roosters junior product has established herself as one of the brightest fullback prospects in womens rugby league and was rewarded with a two year Development contract with reigning NRLW champions Newcastle.

She hopes to play a role in the 2024 campaign as Ben Jeffries’ Knights chase a premiership trifecta.

Earlier this year the gifted White skippered Newcastle to a Tarsha Gale Cup Grand Final appearance where they were beaten 24-12 by Kasey Reh’s all conquering Steelers.

Lilly-Ann earned her NSW jumper with a dynamic performance at fullback in Country’s thrilling extra time 26-18 victory over City last month in the annual Under 19s clash at Leichhardt Oval.

The emerging custodian cut a swathe through the City defence with her elusive running and tricky step and capped an impressive display with a customary try.

NSW Under 19s coach Kate Mullaly told News Of The Area that Lilly-Ann “has a bright future in the game”.

“She was one of thirteen players in our Sky Blues squad that featured in the Tarsha Gale Cup premiership decider and has proved an inspiration with her leadership qualities and exceptional attacking skills in pressure moments,” quipped the former World Cup-winning Australian Jillaroos assistant.

“Coming into the NSW camp the girls worked hard to mix and it paid off with a huge team effort in the Origin showdown with the Maroons,” she added.

By Chris KARAS

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