Under 20 Maroons overrun by Blues
The Queensland Under 20s have once again come up second best against their NSW rivals and went down 30-16, despite a promising start to the game.
Queensland went up early in just the third minute with Corey Horsburgh rewarding the call of coach Justin Hodges to have him start the game.
They were in again soon after when Tristan Sailor powered down the right wing in the 16th minute and fans were hoping the home side would be able to break their duck in this interstate content.
However, the NSW side would not be denied, and slowly started to build their way back into the contest.
Their first try came via a direct route, with big number 10 Blake Lawrie crashing over under the goal posts.
His St George Illawarra team-mate Jai Field – who had a great night with the boot – converted the try to see his side trail 10-6.
A smart kick from NSW put pressure on the Queensland defence – but they were able to hold out initially, and some strong defensive pressure pushed the NSW winger out in touch, a lucky escape for Queensland who earned the scrum feed with seven minutes to go in the half.
Despite the clock winding down, there was still time for points to be scored, and in a nicely constructed play, lock Keegan Hipgrave make a half bust, but was able to offload to his Gold Coast Titans team-mate AJ Brimson who was in support.
He then passed to his halves partner and skipper Brodie Croft who sprinted away to score under the posts. Sailor converted for a 16-6 lead.
However, NSW had the final say in the half in what proved to be a crucial play, when a great Curtis Scott popped offload found his winger in Reuben Garrick who stayed just inside the line on his way to touching down to score.
NSW appeared a different team in the second half and lifted to another level as they knew their unbeaten run was on the line.
In a show of class for from Field, he put a step on a Queensland defender halfway down the field and then showed his speed to score. He converted his own try to draw scores level 16-16.
The momentum has swung and Queensland were then forced onto the back foot and had to defend two dropouts in a row.
As it was a match played on Origin night, it was a game with plenty of feeling and both Ray Stone (NSW) and Horsburgh found themselves in the sin bin.
NSW kick a penalty goal from in front following the confrontation to go in front 18-16 with just under 21 minutes to go.
A strong run from eventual man of the match Jack Murchie from 10m out after another line drop-out put NSW further in front. Field’s conversion attempt was successful put the scores out to 24-16.
The Queenslanders didn’t give up and provided the home crowd with a thrill when a great passage of play nearly resulted in memorable try.
The young Maroons kept throwing all they could into attack with some razzle dazzle play – but it wasn’t to be and Nat Bucher rubbed salt into the wound when he crashed over with 11 seconds to go to seal a great comeback for the young Blues.
There were a number of strong performers for Queensland, led by Hipgrave who showed great enterprise in both attack and defence.
Under 20 NSW 30 (Blake Lawrie, Reuben Garrick Field, Jack Murchie, Nat Butcher tries; Jai Field 4 goals) def Under 20 Queensland 16 (Corey Horsburgh, Tristian Sailor, Brodie Croft tries; Tristan Sailor 2 goals)
Man of the Match: Jack Murchie (NSW)
Halftime: 16-10 to Queensland