Photo: Rob Cleary
The Queensland Rangers defeated the NSW Ron Massey Representative side 32-0 in a one sided affair in Coffs Harbour, largely thanks to a strong defensive display from Mark Shipway's men.
Mitch Lollback and Samsen O'Neill both capitalised on several NSW errors throughout the game, with O'Neill scoring three tries and Lollback two. Without the errors, the match would have been much more even. Queensland coach Shipway suggested that the match was much closer than the scoreline seemed.
“I don't think we dominated in attack as much as the scoreline suggests, but defensively we were very strong. The way they (QLD Rangers) gelled out on the field today was tremendous.”
Lollback was the first over the line for Queensland, finishing off a neat move from the Rangers in the 15th minute.
Jamie Anderson sparked the attack with a clever line break, rampaging 40 metres before eventually succumbing to a Mitchell Beggs tackle, who did well to chase down the Queensland centre. Hooker Denzel King then quickly switched play to the right flank where winger Lollback was lurking to score the first try of the match.
Queensland were clearly gaining momentum, as just five minutes later Phil Ramage kicked a 40-20 to give the Rangers possession in a dangerous position. From the scrum the ball made its way out to O'Neill, who was too powerful on the right flank, and eased his way over the try line to put the Rangers ahead by eight.
NSW were struggling to put together any real chances, with simple mistakes to blame for a lack of possession. Their only real chance of the first half was from a grubber kick, which David Harris couldn't make the most of as the ball's bounce eluded his run in-behind.
To cap off a poor first half, Queensland's O'Neill scored his second of the match as he collected a Harris knock-on. Harris was on the receiving end of a numbing hit from forward Jarvine Bobongie,and lost the ball in the tackle. The referee played advantage, allowing O'Neill to run the 40 metres and put the ball between the sticks for Queensland to lead 14-0 at the break.
After halftime NSW began to string together some good possession. David Harris, Sam Hollis and Michael Morris were at the centre of some swift moves from the Blues, but they still couldn't find a way through the Rangers' stalwart defence.
To rub in the frustration, Queensland scored two quick tries 10 minutes into the second half, with Bobongie drawing the tackle then offloading for Lollback to breach NSW's line once more.
Bobongie then went from provider to scorer just four minutes later, as Marr offloaded to his captain to put the Rangers in front 26-0.
O'Neill got his hat-trick in the 61st minute, intercepting a Tuiletufuga pass on NSW 40m line, and running the distance unconstested for his third try of the match.
Despite tightening up their defence for the last 20 minutes of the match, NSW couldn't add to the scoreboard.
QUEENSLAND RANGERS 32 (Samsen O'Neill 3, Mitch Lollback 2, Jardine Bobongie tries; Phil Ramage 4 goals) def NSW RON MASSEY CUP 0 at Geoff King Oval