The rivalry between Australia and New Zealand was fired up again, but it was Australia that has the upper hand in the two-Test Australian Schoolboys v NZ Under 18s series, taking the first match, 70-24.
Australia fought back from an 18-16 deficit towards the end of the first half, before two late tries to Curtis Scott (his first of two) and Adam Keighran gave them a 24-18 lead at halftime.
The first half was a tight contest, with both sides showing good attacking intent – with Australian lock Rueben Cotter starting the try-a-thon in an entertaining opening.
While the tries continued in the second half; it was one-way traffic with the home side running in eight tries to one.
The Australians created damage across the park, leaving the Kiwi’s defence unable to find any answers.
Australia’s fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen scored a hat-trick with centre Scott and halfback Scott Drinkwater grabbing doubles in the impressive win.
Australian captain Nathan Cleary lead his side from the front, converting seven out of eight goal attempts to add further pain to the visitors’ scoreline.
The green and gold side capitalised on every opportunity presented to them, while the Kiwis had limited opportunity with the ball; with errors and poor discipline cruelling any chances they might have had.
The Kiwis side was left stunned as the Australian side continued their attack, piling on 54 unanswered points in the second half.
Kiwi centre Tarquinn Alatpi tried to create some redemption for his side, scoring a consolation try to close out the match.
The Australian side will take their winning momentum into the Second Test this Thursday at BMD Kougari Oval while New Zealand will be hoping to turn their fortunes around. The match will kick off at 6.30pm and will be livestreamed at www.qrl.com.au.
AUSTRALIA SCHOOLBOYS 70 (Ryan Papenhuyzen 3, Curtis Scott 2, Scott Drinkwater 2, Tyrone Roberts-Davis, Reuben Garrick, Blayke Brailey, Jayden Butterfield, Adam Keighran, Rueben Cotter tries; Nathan Cleary 7, Reuben Garrick 2 goals) def NEW ZEALAND U18s 24 (Rory Marshall-Barton, Tarquinn Alatipi, Lewis Soosemea, Morgan Harper, Tyrone Nathan tries; Jackson Ferris 2 goals) at Suncorp Stadium (Halftime: Australia Schoolboys 24-18).
Australia Schoolboys: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Tyronne Roberts-Davis 3. Curtis Scott 4. Reuben Garrick 5. Tre Williams 6 Nathan Cleary (c) 7. Scott Drinkwater 8. Jye Challenor 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Jayden Butterfield 11. Cameron Murray 12. Adam Keighran 13. Rueben Cotter 14. David Fauid 16. Kye Madden 17. Daniel Vasquez 18. Tom Mikaele
New Zealand Under 18s: 1. Dean Kouka-Smith 2. Rory Marshall-Barton 3. Tarquinn Alatipi 4. Lewis Soosemea 5. Morgan Harper 6. Jackson Ferris 17. Bostyn Hakaraia 8. Keanu Dawson (c) 9. David-John Phillips 10. Fabien Paletua-Kiri 11. Chris Sio 12. Whitiora Davis 13. Rory Ferguson 14. Phoenix Hunt 15. Tyrone Nathan 16. Isaiah Papalii 18. Auzzie Tuwhangai