The Queensland Under 16 side have gone down 28-14 to a talented NSW side in their interstate clash played at Suncorp Stadium today.
In and end-to-end and entertaining game – the NSW side were able to wear down the young Queensland side to claim the win – posting three send half tries to earn the win after both teams headed into the sheds level at 10-10 at the break.
With Queensland Maroons coach Kevin Walters watching on from the media box, Queensland had the worst possible start, with an error in their opening set with the ball handing NSW the ball.
The visitors instantly capitalised and put on a nice backline move that saw Zion Tauasa over in the left corner in just the 1 minute of play. Donovan Boney was successful with the sideline conversion and his side had an early 6-0.
In what was unfortunately a pattern for the home; another error on their own 10m had them on the back foot again, but they did well to hold them out this time and defended their line well after big NSW prop Tyreece Matangi tried to push his way over the line.
NSW made an error with their next play and Queensland showed off their skills with Ediq Ambrosyev making a break after a penalty and was brought down close to the line. From there, they pushed the ball out to the right and skipper Reece Walsh – who was playing fullback today – ran hard and dove over the line to get his side on the board. While his conversion missed, Queensland were well and truly back in the game.
Both sides then muscled up in defence; with risks running down the sideline punished by both sides who were able to push their opposition out.
However, Queensland were able to just stay in when winger Tyrone Sa'u was able to keep his feet above the line to touch down and score in the left corner, despite a valiant effort from NSW centre Viliami Penisini to drag him out. Walsh was successful with the conversion and Queensland had a lead.
In a telling play however; NSW were able to score in the final 10 minutes of the half to draw level after a break from their five-eighth Kaeo Weekes set them up to complete a successful attack. He was brought down just before the line, but they pushed it out left and quick hands from fullback Boney found secondrower Thomas Cant who went over for a crucial try.
In the second half, errors plagued Queensland again as they left in tries to Weekes and Penisini to start the half; before a try to Keegan Vandenberg kept them in the fight.
He was over in the left after a nice offload from second rower Brocco Ughlepushing through the line found his centre to score. Queensland trailed 20-14 with nine and a half to go, but again errors proved to be their downfall.
One highlight for Queensland though was the fact the players never gave up; highlighted by an immense covering effort by Xavier Savage who showed huge speed to come from the opposite side to run the length of the field and pull off a try-saving tackle in the second half on speedy NSW winger
Matthew Komolafe who was centimetres from scoring.
NSW put the result beyond doubt when halfback Noah Griffiths went over after a big gap opened up for him at the line; while a late penalty goal sealed the game for the visitors.
Under 16 New South Wales 28 (Zion Tauasa, Thomas Cant, Kaeo Weekes, Viliami Penisini, Noah Griffiths tries; Donovan Boney 4 goals) def Under 16 Queensland 14 (Reece Walsh, Tyrone Sa’u, Keegan Vandenberg tries; Reece Walsh goal) at Suncorp Stadium