Everyone was looking for Mitchell Pearce to be the NSW State of Origin hero on Wednesday, but a little known striker from Shellharbour was the saviour.
The Kanga Cup had its own NSW against Queensland classic battle when Shellharbour played the Gold Coast Pirates in chilly conditions.
The Harrison playing fields were a world away from the rugby league cauldron in Sydney, where NSW and Queensland clashed in the deciding rugby league State of Origin match.
But a group of travelling passionate parents made the atmosphere electric as defending champions Shellharbour beat the Pirates 4-1.
The decisive moment came when Shante Lenartowicz scored a cracking goal just after half-time to give Shellharbour, and NSW, the advantage in a state-versus-state contest.
The NSW south coast team won the under-16 girls tournament last year, but the step up to under-18's has proved to be a big jump physically.
Shellharbour coach Ron Fogarty said despite two losses on the first day, his team was looking forward to challenging their Queensland opponents.
"We were confident going into the game, and we saw that we had some good chances in the first half," Fogarty said.
"We thought we needed to capitalise on them, so we made a few strategic changes at half-time, which gave us a little more strength up top."
Mikayla de Jong put Shellharbour ahead after 10 minutes following a corner, but the teams were very evenly matched throughout the first half.
Despite the chilly early morning, tempers started to heat up in the second half. A Gold Coast player had to be helped from the field after suffering a concussion in a head clash.
But Lenartowicz broke the game open when she scored and the goal seemed to be a catalyst for Shellharbour, who then made the most of their ascendancy by netting another two goals in quick succession.
A late misread in an otherwise fantastic game from goalkeeper Mikaela Erdelyi gifted Gold Coast's Olivia Lane her second goal of the tournament, but it was too late for her side to mount a comeback, going on to lose the match 4-1.
"The competition is far harder this year with teams from Korea and New Zealand in the tournament," Fogarty said.
"Additional to that we're playing a year up, so the girls are 16 and 17 years old, but the girls are just enjoying the experience of playing those international teams as well as the Australians."
Shellharbour's captain Bella Fogarty was the hero in her team's Kanga Cup victory in last year, playing goalkeeper during a tense 4-3 penalty shootout win.
This year she is playing her preferred position of center-midfield, and is enjoying being back in Canberra.
"It feels really good to be back in Canberra actually," Bella Fogarty said.
"Last year we didn't play any international teams and this year it was really good to play against teams from Korea and New Zealand."
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Meanwhile, South Korean team Daegu Dongbu have enjoyed a stellar Kanga Cup tournament so far, winning all four of their games with a positive goal difference of 18.
Impressively they are yet to concede a goal, with forwards Ahkee Kim and Yujeong Lee netting six goals each so far this week. After a 6-0 thumping this morning, Weston Molonglo FC coach Jason Finlan had only good things to say about the Asian team.
"We got convincingly beaten by a very good South Korean side," Finlan said.
"They were quite physical, which I didn't expect from them because they're quite small girls, but they're very powerful and skillful." Daegu Dongbu will finish on top of the standings with semi finals starting Thursday.