WHEN Sarah Archer and Marita Shoulders have made sporting history together they've done so in style, so that's exactly what the Bathurst officers are hoping for this July when they're involved in another momentous first.
That's when pair will pull on a New South Wales Police Rugby League representative jumper and square off against their Queensland counterparts in the first women's police State of Origin clash in the 13-a-side code.
It will be a big occasion, but big occasions are nothing new to Archer and Shoulders.
In 2018 the duo were part of the inaugural women's Australian Police rugby union outfit which played against an Australian Defence Force side.
In 2020 Shoulders and Archer were selected in the inaugural Country Origin Women's Police Rugby League representative team before the COVID-19 pandemic saw their showdown with City cancelled.
But this year the first City-Country match went ahead and the pair were both there in the Country pack wearing the jumpers presented to them by former Australian representative Noel 'Crusher' Cleal.
Given her league resume included representative appearances for Group 10, Woodbridge Cup and the Western Rams, Archer was selected to start as lock.
She was amongst the try scorers as Country posted an 8-6 win at Mudgee.
"It was just a quick play the ball. Our fullback did a run through the players, I hit the hole, got through a couple of their players and scored," Archer said.
"It was pretty special to win that first match, it will only ever happen once and we'll get our name on the plaque."
Shoulders, herself a former Group 10 representative, did not initially make the cut for the 2021 Country side. But when a winger was dropped from the squad, she was given a starting role in the front row.
She showed she was worthy of that job as she tackled with aggression and ran hard in attack in a performance which earned her a spot in the NSW outfit alongside Archer.
"I went from not playing, to starting to making the New South Wales team, that was pretty sweet," Shoulders, who is a NSW Country representative in rugby union, said.
"There was a big mix in that City side, they had girls that played in the Harvey Norman Cup then girls who had never played, they'd only played league tag or Oztag, so it was good to beat them.
"I don't think the Country men have ever won, so to do it in our first game was pretty special."
The pair will now put their skills to use against Queensland in the inaugural State of Origin to be played at Pizzey Park on July 17.
For Archer it means lining up against two-time World Cup winning Jillaroos lock Steph Hancock, but she can't wait for the challenge. She's keen to make more history as a winner.
"Originally we planned this before COVID, COVID ruined it, but we were going to be the curtain-raiser for the women's State of Origin," Archer said.
"So now we're playing at Pizzey Park, it won't be a curtain-raiser, but yeah I'm looking forward to it."
As for Shoulders, she hopes the clash is the first of many between New South Wales and Queensland and hopes in time another state outfit will be formed so women's can have a tri-series like the men.
"The boys origin team that was selected, they get to play as a curtain-raiser for a State of Origin game then they get to go back up to Queensland and play a tri-series while we're up there," she said.
"Hopefully this is the start of something bigger for us, hopefully we can get another team together."
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