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Chevy hits top gear as Blues U19s hold off brave Maroons

The class of Raiders fullback Chevy Stewart came to the fore as NSW held off Queensland 14-10 in a tense Under 19s Origin clash at Leichhardt Oval on Thursday night.

Stewart's brilliance in attack and composure under the high ball were crucial as the Andrew Ryan-coached Blues held out a gallant Maroons side to continue their dominance of the under 19 clashes.

The Blues had an early shot at points but the Maroons held firm and came away on the back of a Tyreece Tait intercept.

Tait was dragged down by desperate Blues defence but winger Jesse McLean caught the hip of Tait and was ruled out of the match after showing Category 1 concussion symptoms.

Harry Armstrong Try

Queensland then got across the line through Sam Stephenson but the last pass was called forward and the Blues took full advantage with a try to Stewart in the seventh minute. Jake Elliott's conversion made it 6-0.

After players from both sides let off steam in a melee in the 20th minute it was the Maroons who settled best, bench forward Harry Armstrong crossing next to the posts courtesy of a sweet pass from Lewis Symonds.

Five Star Chevy

The Blues regained the lead after 30 minutes when Newcastle's Connor Vitano latched onto a cross field kick from Jake Elliott and spun through a tackle to ground the ball on the line. The conversion went astray and the Blues led 10-6.

A mistake by Israel Leota coming out of his own end then gave NSW a late shot at points but the Maroons held firm for two sets to go to the sheds only down by four.

Connor Votano Try

Three minutes into the second half the Blues forced a line dropout on the back of a pinpoint long kick by halfback Mitch Woods but a poor grubber by Matt Arthur out of dummy half let the Maroons off the hook.

A dazzling kick return by Stewart again put NSW on the front foot but a gutsy defensive stand by the Maroons again turned the Blues away.

The Maroons' resilience in defence had its reward in the 45th minute when a slick backline move put Tait over in the corner and scores were locked up at 10-10.

Come the 50th minute and the Blues looked to have taken the lead back when Michael Gabrael crossed from a Woods grubber but the bunker ruled the try out after Elliott was ruled to have knocked on when attempting a kick earlier in the play.

With the game in the balance it was Elliott coming up with a banana kick towards the sideline which Votano did well to tap back inside to Stewart who broke a couple of tackles and sent Arthur over to make it 14-10 to NSW.

Tyreece Tait Try

The Blues got across the line with three minutes to play through Fanafou Seve but desperate Maroons defence ensured he was held up and the visitors had one last chance to snatch victory.

Blues fullback Stewart came up with a brilliant take of a bomb and NSW were able to hang on for their third consecutive victory in the men's Under 19 Origin contests.

Match Snapshot

  • Blues winger Jesse McLean left the field for a HIA in the second minute. He was unable to return to the match.
  • Maroons halfback Coby Black came up with a 40-20 kick in the 18th minute.
  • The Blues completed 15 of 22 sets in the first half at 68 per cent. Queensland went 12 of 19 at 63 per cent.
  • The Blues came up with 50 tackle breaks for the night compared to 25 for the Maroons.
  • Blues fullback Chevy Stewart took home man of the match honours. He had 20 runs for 215 metres and broke 14 tackles as well as scoring a try.

Black thumps a 40/20

  • The Blues got the money 32-14 in last year's clash at Kayo Stadium in Redcliffe thanks to an Ethan Strange hat-trick.
  • The Blues lost their captain's challenge in the 61st minute.
  • A crowd of 5268 was on hand at Leichhardt Oval.
  • Maroons second-rower Lewis Symonds left the field for a HIA in the 61st minute.

The Blues turn the screws

Play of the GameĀ 

Crafty Blues five-eighth Jake Elliott set up the go-ahead try with an angled kick towards the left sideline which the Maroons allowed to bounce. Blues winger Connor Votano tapped the ball back inside to fullback Chevy Stewart who slid through a gap and found Matt Arthur in support for the try that would eventually decide the game.

Matthew Arthur Try

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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