QUEENSLAND Maroons ran roughshod over Country New South Wales to win Friday nights Under 18 representative match 24-8 in a dominant display at Lismores Oakes Oval.
A tense clash saw the game halted twice in the first half as Queensland took a 10-4 advantage to the break thanks to tries to Tim Wolens and Chris Law. Kyle Laybutt kicked one goal.
The game continued in physical fashion in the second half with plenty of heavy hits, solid defence and a typical backs-to-the-wall effort of which Queenslanders would be proud.
Queensland was left with 12 men on the field shortly after the break as Country took the ascendency.
They conceded one try through Country winger Zac Leonard, but managed to hold out in a period coaches and managers agreed won them the match.
I thought our defence was strong the whole game, but those 10 minutes were brilliant, coach Steve Sheppard said.
It was pretty tough going in patches and the middle of the ground was pretty heavy. The boys kept up their efforts and did us proud.
Manager Darryl Swan agreed.
That defensive effort won us the game, Swan said.
They were down to 12 players but they stayed strong and showed real guts to hold Country at bay.
Hooker Chris Law was a standout for Queensland, orchestrating the attack from dummy half and nabbing a try for himself.
He was great, Sheppard said. I think Timmy Wolens was brilliant as well.
"He did some really good things all game. Bradyn Torpy had a great game as well, but I think we had 17 positive contributions tonight.
QUEENSLAND MAROONS 24 (Hargreaves, Perry, Wolens, Law, Brock tries; Laybutt 2 goals) def NSW COUNTRY 8 (Roughly, Leonard tries) at Oakes Oval, Lismore
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jayden Connors (Tingha): Pocket rocket at the back. All class. Plenty of speed and stood tall in well beaten team.
Kirren Roughly (Milton Ulladulla): Big step and proved handful for defence in centre. Made plenty of metres when given ball in space. Good defence.
Kyle Laybutt (Central): Controlled Queensland's attack with poise beyond his years. Plenty more development to come. Exciting prospect.
Josh Beehag (Redcliffe): Outstanding at the back. Defused attacking kicks with ease. Kept popping up in support.
Chris Law and Jack Brock (Townsville): Hooker and prop respectively. Law orchestrated attack and gave halves great service. Pinched plenty of metres. Brock extremely strong up the centre of the park.
Tim Wolens (Gold Coast White): Very strong kid with big future. Must have been a close second for man of the match. Heaps of metres, very aggressive and strong defence.