The Queensland Universities team wrestled back the Tas Baiteiri Cup after downing the NSW Tertiary side in Coffs Harbour at the weekend.
Coached by Gary O’Brien, the student Maroons built on a 24-12 lead at halftime to finish off with a strong victory that avenged their defeat in the annual fixture last year.
Griffith University Dragons’ hooker Jesse Domic – son of former Broncos and Penrith player Sid Domic – was named man of the match for a display that was punctuated by clever kicking and a try.
Domic’s four-pointer came just before halftime, with him burrowing over from dummy half to hurt the Blues as Queensland took a 12-point lead into the break.
Earlier in the game, the Maroons had opened the scoring when nippy half Cody Feltham darted over after just four minutes, with utility Laithan Joseph making it 12-0 when he scored in the 18th minute.
NSW hit back with a try to Jaden Pardy (24th minute), but the youngest player on the field Zane Jones got an early 18th birthday present when he went over soon after for Queensland.
The Blues struck again to be just a try behind when Brandon Webb scored in the 33rd minute, but Domic’s response gave Queensland the ascendency going into halftime.
When Maroons’ five-eighth Richard Kay scooted over 15 minutes after they returned to the field and captain Dave Ballard chased a kick to score with 20 minutes to go, the trophy was coming back to Queensland.
Domic’s club team-mate and centre Matt Butler was named Queensland’s Players’ Player by his peers after ratting the Blues with some huge hits.
Queensland Universities 34 (Cody Feltham, Laithan Joseph, Zane Jones, Jesse Domic, Richard Kay, Dave Ballard tries; Kay 5 goals) defeated NSW Tertiaries 18 (Jaden Pardy, Brandon Webb, Taylor Bennett tries; Luke Johnston 3 goals) at Geoff King Motors Oval, Coffs Harbour on September 23.