NSW too strong in Residents match
The annual Residents game involved a Queensland side gunning for three wins a in a row and a New South Wales side determined to record their first win since 2013.
Queensland made a nervous start, dropping the kick off and being forced into touch, which meant repeated defensive efforts.
After five minutes, New South Wales attacked to their left and went through the hands for their winger Ken Maumalo to score in the corner for a 4-0 lead.
New South Wales kept the pressure on the Queensland side with a smart kicking game by Josh Drinkwater keeping the home side on the back foot and defending.
In the 11th minute, Queensland were again found short on the left hand side and Maumalo had a double and his team were leading 10-0.
Queensland finally enjoyed some possession and a penalty found them attacking the New South Wales line for the first time.
The home side executed a two-pass shift and Townsville Blackhawks’ fullback Jahrome Hughes cut back inside to score to the left of the posts and have Queensland back in the game trailing 8-6 after Darren Nicholls converted.
Hughes was fouled after he put the ball down and referee Matt Noyen asked about an eight-point try, but Queensland was denied.
After fighting to get back into the game, New South Wales marched down the other end with Asipeli Fine attacking the Queensland right edge and scoring again in the corner, once again exposing that side's defence in the first half.
With 14 minutes to go before the break, Shaun Nona took over the kicking duties and converted for New South Wales to led 14-6.
Queensland coach Aaron Zimmerle asked his team to tighten up the middle third in defence and that is exactly what they did, forcing New South Wales into an error 40m out.
The home side went on the attack and arguably Queensland’s best player in the match and winner of the Coach's Award Jack Svendsen came up with the right option – scoring out on the left hand side.
The Nicholls conversion was unsuccessful and New South Wales led 14-10 with eight minutes to go in the first half.
Queensland were forced into a reshuffle with Hughes concussed and unable to return to the field; Corey Jensen went into the centres, Linc Port to fullback and Aaron Whitchurch to the wing.
At halftime, it had been a scrappy game with both sides guilty of too many errors.
In the sheds, Zimmerle addressed the issues of pushing passes and not being patient and demanded more energy from his troops in the second half.
However, it was New South Wales who got off to the perfect start, with Justin Hunt busting the Queensland line and finding his halfback Drinkwater in support who went in under the posts. Nona converted and led 20-10 after three minutes into the second half.
The half didn’t get any better for Queensland when a well-worked move down the New South Wales left again exposed Queensland’s right hand side and Maumalo had a hat-trick despite the attention of a leaning corner post. Nona missed the conversion and New South Wales led 24-10 with 30 minutes to play.
With 20 to go, the task got too hard for Queensland when Dylan Kelly picked up a Herman Ese’ese dropped ball after a brutal hit by Matthew Allwood.
Kelly ran the 90m to score in New South Wales’ right hand corner evading defenders as he went.
The conversion was successful from Nona out on the right and New South Wales led 30-10 with 18 minutes to go.
Queensland restored some credibility into the scoreline when the two halves combined with Nicholls following a short kick in-field by Cullen to score. He converted his try to have Queensland down 30-16 with nine minutes to go.
Jai Arrow was named Player's Players and was outstanding in a losing side; with 40 tackles and 14 hit ups and causing plenty of sideways looks by the New South Wales attackers.
New South Wales wrapped up a the win with great defence and great forward momentum provided by Abraham Papalii who got New South Wales moving early in the match and allowed winger Maumalo to record his three tries.
NEW SOUTH WALES REPRESENTATIVE 30 (Ken Maumalo 3, Asipeli Fine, Josh Drinkwater, Dylan Kelly tries; Shaun Nona 3 goals) def QUEENSLAND RESIDENTS 16 (Jahrome Hughes, Jack Svendsen, Darren Nicholls tries; Darren Nicholls 2 goals) at Suzuki Stadium, Langlands Park.
Man of Match: Josh Drinkwater (New South Wales)
Queensland team awards
Coach's Award: Jack Svendsen
Players' Player: Jai Arrow