Aaron Gray’s New South Wales under 20s have defeated Queensland in a one-sided affair tonight (Saturday) at Penrith to the tune of 30-8.
A late call-up for Aaron Gray saw the Rabbitoh take his place in the Blues side, wearing the number 18 jersey in the centres. Gray showed solid defence consistent with his performances in the Rabbitohs’ NYC throughout the match on his side of the field.
The Blues went in first through Tyrone Phillips, after an emotional opening 10 minutes that planted the seeds of Origin the both sides. Phillips slid over in the corner with fullback Clinton Gutherson converting from the touch-line to make it 6-0.
From the ensuing kick-off, the Blues made good yards before putting up a massive bomb for opposite winger Jake Mamo picking up the ball on the bounce to score as well. Gutherson landed the conversion to make it 12-0 after 14 minutes.
By the 22nd minute, emotions spilled over when Blues prop Mathew Lodge began throwing punches, resulting in the Blue being sin-binned, leaving his team down a player. But the sin-binnings didn’t stop there. Just one minute later, Maroon John Folau was sin-binned in a separate incident – Blue Dean Britt was lucky to also not be sent from the field for another punch.
When the dust had settled, it was still the Blues who had the upper-hand, when NSW shifted the ball through Folau to Sione Mata’utia for Jake Mamo to slide over for his second of the night on the sideline. Gutherson converted to extend the lead to 18-0.
With both teams back up to 13 players, Queensland tried valiantly to put points on the board. The breakthrough finally came on the stroke of half-time through winger John Folau, who finished off a back-line movement to race over in the corner. Brendan Elliot failed to convert to take the teams to the sheds with the Blues leading 18-4.
In the 53rd minute, Mata’utia took a well-timed pass from halfback Mitchell Moses to push the Blues further ahead. Gutherson converted again from out wide to make it 24-4.
And the Blues didn’t take their foot off the accelerator. In the 65th minute, Mamo was in again, this time thanks to a slim overlap that allowed the freakishly fast Knight to slip past the Maroons in the corner for his third of the night. Gutherson landed yet another conversion from the touch-line to make it a lop-sided 30-4 with just over 10 minutes remaining.
The Maroons weren’t dead and buried though, with Luke Bateman steaming onto a short-ball from Jaelen Feeney to go over right next to the posts. Incredibly, Brendan Elliot, missed a sitter of a conversion, leaving the score at 30-8 to round out the match.
NSW 30 (Tyrone Phillips, Jake Mamo 3, Sione Mata’utia tries; Clinton Gutherson 5 goals)
QLD 8 (John Folau, Luke Bateman, tries)