Queenslanders are holding their breath in anticipation for State of Origin Game II, but there’s another exciting match-up to look forward to before the main game, with the curtain – raiser to be played by the states’ Under 18 teams.

After suffering a heavy defeat in this match last year; the Queenslanders will be battling hard to ensure the shield comes back north.

“There will be no excuses, we have a great side and we will need to start well and play well,” Queensland Under 18 coach Josh Hannay said.

The Queenslanders will provide fierce competition for a talented Blues side, with many quicks in the backline who will hopefully slip through the NSW defensive line.

“We are fortunate to have the backline we do. We have big athletic centres and wingers who are tall, very sharp, speedy and are big in size,” Hannay said.

The Junior Maroons will have their work cut of them as they try to stop NSW from gaining back-to-back victories.

“NSW are going to be a tough side after winning last year and having the game on their turf,” Hannay said.

“I was the coach last year, the way we played left a sour taste ... All I want is for us to do our best.”

Earlier this week, the young Maroons got to watch the senior side’s training session in camp on Sunday and Hannay said it was great opportunity for boys.

“They got to see their heroes, rub shoulders with them and pick their brains,” Hannay said. “It is always important for the boys to get that opportunity and just enjoy their company.

Hannay, a FOG himself, knows the importance of putting on the Queensland jersey representing your state, your family and friends.

The Queenslanders have been known for their passion and friendship with each other and these future Maroons have all that and more.

“It has been a really good week, they are a great bunch of kids who have known each other and there is a great camaraderie with each other,” Hannay said.

“It has been a privilege to be involved with the Under 18 side again. It’s always great to get the opportunity to represent your state and the QRL do a great job representing the coaches and the players.”

You can follow the scores at QRL Live: Under 18 QRL Live

Watch the game with the QRL Live Stream (link below):