Almanac Rugby League – Under 19s State of Origin: A double for the Blues

 

 

Under 19s Women

New South Wales dominated the Under 19s women’s clash to run out deserved 22-6 winners. Five tries to one summed up the game.

 

The Blues looked more mobile up front and cohesive overall from the beginning while the bigger Maroons forwards lacked agility in a game played at a cracking pace. It’s a sign of the modern game. Queensland did well to get back into the game after an early NSW try and managed to take the lead briefly before ill discipline and poor handling gifted NSW possession and field position. A near miss just before the break cruelled Queensland’s chances before NSW dominated the second half.

 

For the winners, the standout players were full back Jada Taylor (who scored a scintillating 108 metre try), centre Andie Robinson ( who notched a hat-trick through superb positional play and strong running), hooker Rueben Cherrington (who distributed the ball well and ran with strength and purpose) and pivot Losana Lutu (who displayed a good sense of the game and chose her options well).

 

Queenlsand’s best were fullback Chantay Kiria-Ratu (great last line defence and never stopped trying), hooker Lily-Rose Kolc (tackled relentlessly and urged her team forward) and backrower Hannah Larsson (gave everything in both attack and defence). Pivot Jada Ferguson also tried hard.

 

There’s a clear lesson here for the women’s game and the code in general – the modern game requires strength, mobility, agility, speed and skill. The days of the bigger, slower forwards dominating the game are long gone. This game encapsulated this paradigm perfectly.

 

The future of the NRLW looks in very good hands if the skills on display here are an indication of the years ahead.

 

Under 19s men

The NSW Under 19s men’s team took up where the women left off and handed Queensland a 32-4 flogging. A four-try blitz in 10 minutes midway through the first half decided the result and, from there, the quality of the game fell away in the second half.

 

This game reiterated my point above – if you’re big, you also have to be mobile and agile. NSW were bigger, faster, more cohesive and far more enthusiastic. Poor discipline let the Maroons down several times and so they found themselves very much on the back foot for extended periods of the game, either defending their line repeatedly or, in possession, struggling to get out of their own half.

 

The Blues played an exceptional team game from 1-17. Superior strength, leg speed and drive kept them on the front foot and they didn’t relent at any stage. Thomas Weaver was probably the best player on the ground with his good options, link play and excellent goal-kicking. After initially overplaying his hand, half-back Jonah Pezet came into the game and created at least a couple of his team’s tries. Wingers Jack Bostock and Utuloa Asomua were also impressive.

 

For the Maroons, fullback Isiah Iongi stood out in both attack and defence while Sosefo Fifita and Robert Toia battled strongly. Their forwards were well beaten on the night as they were suffocated by swarming defenders who displayed great speed off their line and worked in tandem to blunt any challenges.

 

The pace of the game was simply extraordinary!

 

So a great night for the Blues as they took out both games comfortably. The Maroons will be looking to get back on track in the senior matches over the weekend.

 

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About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A Queenslander through and through, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. I enjoy travel, good coffee and cake, reading, and have been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. As well as being one of Footy Almanac's online editors, I moonlight as an editor for hire - check me out at www.writerightediting.com.au

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