THE Queensland Universities team has supplied the majority of the national team after a strong victory over NSW Tertiaries at the weekend.
Eleven student Maroons made the 19-man squad after the Queensland team blew their opposition off the park with a first-half blitz in the annual interstate challenge at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.
They may have been playing in unfamiliar territory, but the Queenslanders did not miss a beat in running up a 28-0 half-time lead.
To their credit, NSW refused to lie down in the second half and ran in three tries to one to finish the score line at 34-12.
Winger Samuel Pau scored two tries for Queensland, while Mick Pearsell did the same for the Blues.
Queensland Universities coach Gary O’Brien, who was assisted by former Qld Universities players Mark Tookey and Matt Church, said he was extremely pleased with the performance.
He said an opposed session with Intrust Super Cup club Souths Logan two days before the game had helped immensely.
“The boys certainly got some confidence from that opposed session,” said O’Brien.
“We came up with some errors early in the match but we managed to defend them well.
“The players showed some grit doing that and seemed to gain some energy from it.
“We then put six or seven sets together and managed to put three quick tries on them.
“I thought we came back to them a bit in the second half, but overall it was a good performance and a well-deserved win.”
Halfback Mitchell Wilson won Queensland’s Player’s Player award.
Queensland players Wilson, Pau, Mitchell Lollback, Conner Toia, Lachlan Timms, Ethan Price, Sam Harrold, Chris Ostwald, Rhys Melville, Jake McManus and Mick O’Keefe were all named for national representation.
The Australian Universities team will go on a three-match tour of the South Island of New Zealand in October, which will include two Test matches against the Kiwis’ Universities outfit.
Queensland Universities v NSW Universities
Saturday May 2, 2015
Queensland Universities 34 (Samuel Pau 2, Mitch Wilson, Chris Ostwald, Jayden Best, Luke Guinaine tries; Sam Harrold 5 goals) defeated NSW Tertiaries12 (Mick Pearsall 2, Seamus Leyland tries) at Campbelltown Stadium.
QUEENSLAND UNIVERSITIES TEAM: Mitchell Lollback (Uni of Sunshine Coast), Samuel Pau (James Cook Uni), Brandon Khuu (Qld Uni Technology), Michael O'Keefe (Uni of Southern Queensland), Ojay Benson Moka (Southern Cross Uni), Conner Toia (Griffith Uni), Mitchell Wilson (QUT), Ethan Price (SCU), Chris Ostwald (QUT), Lachlan Timms (USC), Sam Harrold GU, Nathan Portelli (SCU), Jake McManus JCU. Interchange: Jayden Best (QUT), Brayden Gaviglio (JCU), Thomas O'Keefe (Australian Catholic University) Rhys Melville (Tafe Qld) Luke Guinane (Central Qld Uni)