Baby Blues Produce Second Half Blitz
THE New South Wales U20 Origin side has won the Darren Lockyer Shield for the second year running after they beat Queensland 36-12 last night at Centrebet Stadium.
Despite some torrential weather in and around Sydney overnight and earlier in the day, the match was actually played in very good conditions with both sides not afraid to throw the ball around.
The Baby Blues almost got off to the perfect start when in the fifth minute Dean Britt ran onto a great ball and had two unmarked men to his left but failed to see his support and NSW coughed up the ball on the very next tackle.
A few minutes later though, Luke Brooks got the NSW side on the front again after a brilliant 40/20 gave NSW possession 10m out from the Queensland line, and from the resulting set it was first blood to NSW with hometown boy, George Jennings, going over out wide.
NSW continued to dominate possession and field position for the next 15 minutes or so without putting anymore points on the board but then in the 23rd minute another shift to left found Queensland short and the Dragons Charly Runciman dived over in the same corner as Jennings did before him.
But despite largely dominating the half, NSW only lead by eight and with around seven left to play before the break, Queenslands Brandon Tago steamrolled onto a pass close to the line to score.
On the very next set, a brilliant run by Kurt Mann saw Anthony Milford put over the line, and in the blink of an eye, an eight point lead to NSW turned into a four point deficit.
The Blues returned from the sheds a rejuvenated outfit and it didnt take them long to wrestle back the lead when Michael Lichaa went from dummy half close to the line and was not to be denied.
Walker kicked his first of the night from right in front and they lead 14-12 with 45 minutes gone.
And then around five minutes later a quick 20m tap saw Dylan Walker break through the defensive line and sprint some 50m before handing off to Runciman who dived over for his second of the night.
Now with an eight point lead and the clock fast becoming Queenslands enemy; and so to was the scoreboard thanks to another Blues try, this time courtesy of young Raiders halfback Mitch Cornish.
With the scoreboard now reading 26-12 in favour of the home side both teams traded blows without bothering the score sheet until in the 68th minute when George Jennings grounded a precise grubber kick to bag his second of the match.
A late try to Cornish rounded out the scoring for the match with NSW claiming a well deserved 36-12 victory.
NEW SOUTH WALES 36 (Charly Runciman 2, George Jennings 2, Mitch Cornish 2, Michael Lichaa tries; Dylan Walker 4 goals) def. QUEENSLAND 12 (Anthony Milford, Brandon Tago tries; A Milford 2 goals) at Centrebet Stadium.