New South Wales beat a resilient Queensland team 24-10 in tonight’s Under 18 representative match at ANZ Stadium.
In an at times fiery contest between two willing teams, New South Wales scored five tries to two on their way to a hard-fought win in the Origin Two curtain-raiser.
Queensland opened the scoring via big prop Lindsay Collins, who crashed his way over after a neat inside pass from hooker Jake Turpin for a 4-0 lead.
But Queensland couldn’t maintain the early momentum, with consecutive mistakes off their own line punished by the young Blues through a try to Tom Trbojevic.
NSW took a 14-4 lead into half-time and it quickly became 20-4 after a turn over by the Maroons was cleaned up by Lachlan Croker, who sprinted 60m to score under the posts.
Queensland was starved of possession in the second half as the home team maintained their ascendancy by controlling the ball and completing their sets.
But the young Maroons never stopped trying, despite the unfavourable scoreboard and the loss of key players to injury.
Wounded forwards George Fai and Keegan Hipgrave were among the players to leave the field in the second half.
The energetic Hipgrave was one of Queensland’s best, particularly late in the first half when he made a series of powerful surges.
Fai was also strong in the middle until he went down with a shoulder injury while Queensland were pressing for a try.
In true Queensland style, the Maroons scored the final try of the game when hard-working forward Kieran Duffin scored from close range.
Queensland coach Anthony Seibold praised his team’s courage in his post-match address to the players, but was left to lament a lack of execution at vital stages.
NEW SOUTH WALES 24 (Matthew Dufty 2, Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell, Lachlan Croker tries; Jackson Hastings 2 goals) def QUEENSLAND 10 (Lindsay Collins, Kieran Duffin tries; Cooper Bambling goal) at ANZ Stadium.