A FOUR-try haul from winger Brian Kelly helped New Souths Wales to a 32-16 victory at Suncorp Stadium earlier tonight.
After a tight opening half – the young Blues opened up the game in the second, with Gold Coast Titans winger Kelly crossing for a double in each half to see his side retain the Darren Lockyer Shield – a piece of silverware they have held since the Under 20s Origin concept was established in 2012.
Queensland started the match well and applied some early pressure – going over but dropping the ball over the line in a knock on. The young Maroons also forced a line dropout, but the Blues were able to soak up the pressure and hit back with force.
Kelly scored the first two tries of the match after receiving balls out side; going over untouched in his second.
Queensland fought hard, and were again denied a try of their own by good NSW defence, with winger Conor Carey pushed over the sideline in his attempt to get over the line in the right corner.
However – they weren’t to be denied just before the halftime break, with Cowboy Gideon-Gela Mosby finishing of a great try; winning the footrace to a Jayden Nikorima kick ahead to plant the ball down just inside the line.
New South Wales took a 12-4 lead into the break and Queensland struck first in the second half to close the gap to 12-10 when big second row forward Alex Barr crossed the line.
However, the reply from NSW was swift with first impressive fullback Latrell Mitchell, that man Kelly and five-eighth Jackson Hastings crossed in quick succession for a 32-10 lead.
With the game firmly in their grasp, Kelly was able to go over for one more try for NSW with Queensland’s Luke Bateman scoring a consolation try just before the fulltime siren sounded.
For Queensland, skipper Jai Arrow was strong and produced some hard running for his side, while five-eighth Jayden Nikorima looked dangerous before leaving the left the field with a suspected bicep injury.
New South Wales 32 (Brian Kelly 4, Latrell Mitchell, Jackson Hastings tries; Jackson Hastings 4 goals) def Queensland 16 (Gideon Gela-Mosby, Alex Barr, Luke Bateman tries; Ash Taylor 2 goals)
(Halftime: NSW 12 – Queensland 4)
Man of the Match: Drew Hutchinson (New South Wales)