The Interstate Junior Gold Cup challenge has resulted in a win for both NSW and Queensland across the Under 15’s and Under 17’s age group on Saturday 4 April.
The fixtures held at Ballymore Stadium saw the Queensland side take victory 39-22 with NSW able to overcome the home side in the Under 17’s age division 31-20.
The team’s for both states were selected based on form from the 2015 Junior Gold Cup competition.
Queensland Under 15’s v New South Wales Under 15’s
The Queensland Reds Under 15’s representative team secured a 39-22 win over their NSW counter-parts, at Ballymore on Saturday, 4 April.
Queensland Coach Tyrell Barker was happy with the performance of his young team.
“I was really happy with the effort of the lads. Individually NSW were a very good side and we knew that, we just needed to make sure that we could match the physicality they would bring and I think we handled that challenge well.
“Our Captain, Joseph Small was exceptional. The starting centres Tom Gilbert and Xavier Soli were also very strong. Whether they were starting or were coming off the bench this was a team effort and all 23 of the blokes did the Reds proud.
“Ultimately when you play for Queensland you want to win, but long-term we wanted this to be about giving them an opportunity to play at a Queensland level but also to develop their skills in competitive environment, with players of their own ability. Ultimately it gives us a look at players of the future and look at the individuals we should continue to invest in”
High levels of communication throughout the match lead to a concerted team effort from the young Queenslanders.
NSW attacked tight for most of the fixture in hopes of overpowering the Queensland defenders close to the ruck, but were foiled by a courageous defensive effort.
Queensland captain and Number.8 Joseph Small led from the front, registering a number of try-saving tackles, turnovers and a 40m try of his own in a Man of the Match performance.
Despite the Queensland side shooting out to an early lead, NSW fought back to close the gap within five points with 15 minutes to go.
With the match on the line, Queensland increased their tempo to overwhelm their visitors 39-22 by full-time.
Queensland Under 17’s v New South Wales Under 17’s
In the senior fixture of the day, NSW were able to account for Queensland 31-20 despite being down at half time.
Despite holding a narrow lead at halftime, a strong second half from the visitors saw them finish the match as victors.
Queensland Head coach Lachlan Parkinson was proud of his side’s efforts despite the loss.
“Obviously disappointed not to get the win but the boys really played hard. Probably didn’t make some good decisions when the pressure came on late in the second half, and that put us under even more pressure. Still, I’m really proud of the boys’ efforts.
“NSW competed really strongly. Physicality-wise they got in there and really ripped in, took their chances when they got them. Credit has to go to them for the win.”
The aggressive opening display could not be maintained by the home side as NSW tightened up their defence, transforming the fixture in to a heavily contested arm wrestle.
NSW clawed their way in to the lead with time running out in the first half, but Queensland winger Andrew Richardson struck in final play to reclaim a four-point lead.
The referee put Queensland on notice in the second half due to ill-discipline, and the resulting field position and fatigue enabled NSW to cross for two more tries to seal the match 31-20.