Rangers display pride and passion
WHEN it comes to defence, Queensland do it best.
It is a part of the game that Queenslanders pride themselves on, the famous Maroon wall that stops anything Blue in its tracks.
Queensland Rangers proved it again at Lismores Oakes Oval, running in five tries to register a 24-12 win over the New South Wales Ron Massey Cup representative team.
The game itself was an absolute cracker.
New South Wales controlled the early stages of the game and scored first through centre Cecil Mackenzie.
Queensland stood their ground and repelled further attacking raids, building up a defensive effort the 17 Maroons will remember for some time.
They took a 10-6 lead into half time, before producing arguably the best defensive effort displayed by a Queensland Rangers team in recent memory.
The Ron Massey Cup team were camped in their attacking third, pounding the line and coming within inches on several occasions.
The Maroons held them out for what seemed like an eternity, and you could sense all they needed was an opportunity.
A sniff came in the 50th minute when they forced an error and earned a penalty to march downfield.
They worked their way up to within 10m of the try line, before a cross-field kick on the last found a flying Justin Castellaro in the right corner.
In the blink of an eye Castellaro doubled his haul, setting up a memorable victory for the men north of the border.
Coach Paul Lowe agreed Queensland built their win on the defence, saying the extra work during camp paid off.
We worked on our defence during camp and they showed it tonight, Lowe said.
They were outstanding all night. Shaun Maloney was monstrous up front. He made every hit up count. The boys were brilliant right across the park, especially in defence.
Justin has Intrust Super Cup written all over him. He was great tonight but he was all week. He brought enthusiasm to every task we set him.
Mitch Seri and Jody Henrys kicking games were outstanding. They controlled the game with their kicking.
XXXX QUEENSLAND RANGERS 24 (Castellaro 2, Templemen, Maloney, Cooke tries; Seri, Joass goals) def NSW Ron Massey Rep 12 (Mackenzie 2 tries; Fluke 2 goals) at Oakes Oval, Lismore.
Ron Massey Cup Rep
Cecil Mackenzie (Wentworthville): Best in a beaten lot. Great footwork to score crucial tries in heavy traffic. Solid defence.
Aaron Fluke (Wentworthville): Never gave up on searching for the win. Wasn't helped when halves partner Jake Fitzpatrick was sin binned. Gallant effort.
Francis Tuigamala (Wentworthville): Handful for defence when on ground and hits like a ton of bricks. Poor temper got better of him. Damaging ball runner and makes a lot of metres.
Justin Castellaro (Northern): Can score a try from nothing. Safe under the high ball, great vertical leap, handful for defence.
Shaun Maloney (Poinsettias): Front-rower from years past. Displayed complete disregard for personal safety in bringing ball back from kickoff for huge gain. Hits as hard in attack as he does defence.
Jody Henry and Mitch Seri (Poinsettias and Northern): Had the ball on a string and dictated terms through superior kicking games. Got Qld back on front foot with pinpoint kicks. Set up several tries. Great combination.