The NSW Pioneers proved too strong for the XXXX Queensland Rangers who were left to rue a high error rate in their interstate match up to go down 28-18 at Davies Park.
Match: QLD Rangers v NSW Pioneers
Round 1 -
Venue: Davies Park
The home side put in a spirited fightback in the second half to draw close; but the damage was done in the first half where poor handling and decision making cost them dearly.
The NSW side started well when Patrick Hollis was over in only the sixth minute.
Things settled into a bit of an arm wrestle until centre Harlan Collins got the home side on the board in the 25th minute when he collected a kick that had been allowed to to bounce and muscled his way in to score, despite plenty of attention from defenders.
However, the rest of the half belonged to the visitors, with Queensland letting in two tries in the final six minutes of the half to head into the break trailing 16-6.
With Queensland gifting possession due to their errors, NSW had taken full advantage and were also able to capitalise on any luck that had come their way.
The visitors started the second half with the same strong attacking intent that had seen gain the lead at the end of the first; but Queensland's defence was up to the task early.
They were able to then turn their attention to reducing the deficit and helped by a few penalties, they were able to apply some pressure.
A great run down the left edge from Tevita Folau started their next raid play and with the aid of a penalty for stripping the ball they were able to attack.
Tristan Hope burst through defenders in a fantastic run; lunging for the line - and the defenders fell off him allowing him to score under the posts.
The Caleb Daunt conversion was successful, bringing the scores to 16-12 with 32 minutes to go.
However, the momentum swung back the way of the visitors only six minutes later when Pat Mata'utia crashed over; mostly off the back of the work of a strong kick return from Fuiamamao Uta.
Maliko Filino was over out wide for the visitors to extend their lead even further, but a counter attack loomed large when Andrew Petaia crashed over.
However, while Queensland had pressed and pressed at the line, NSW were able to hold them out and a mistimed kick from Queensland was collected by NSW and Jarom Haines went the length of the field to score the try and and land the crushing blow.