The first major interstate rugby league event has been played as the Queensland Residents beat the NSW Residents 36-6 at Suzuki Stadium Langlands Park on a perfect Sunday afternoon in Brisbane.
It was revenge for the Queenslanders who went down to their NSW counterparts in last year’s edition at the same ground.
The game was a tight contest in the first half, with Queensland going to the break 8-6. But it opened up in the second half for the Maroons and they stormed to a big 36-6 win.
An Origin Feel and Not Much in the First Half
The beauty of being at a game like the Residents clash in the comfortable and cosy surrounds of Langlands Park is you get to hear more of the game on the field than you do at games of a higher level, and that was never more evident than the massive thunderous sound of the first hit up of the game. It would be the sound you’d expect of the first hit up of the real State of Origin clash if you could get over the noise of a rowdy crowd or fired up commentators. Thankfully my slide had finished on the giant inflatable Tiger Slide just in time for the kick off.
It was only a try a piece in the first half, and the Queenslanders struck first as local Tiger Dean Britt crashed over in the 11th minute to give the home side a 6-0 lead. NSW countered that 10 minutes later through Blues prop Moses Leota, and in between there was not much in the contest at all.
A late penalty goal to Queensland gave them a slender 8-6 lead, and it was a half time scores that justified the contest up to that point.
The Turning Point that could have changed the game.
Just after half time came a moment in the game which may have changed the outcome or at least gave NSW a better chance at competing in the second after a drop ball call went against the Blues.
In the 43rd minute NSW put a bomb up which appeared to be dropped by the Qld fullback and following that was gathered by a Queensland player in what had to be an offside position. Instead of the knock on being awarded, and NSW being on the attack inside the 20 with a full set of six ahead, the Blues were having to defend and worse still conceded a penalty just one play later.
As what happens with some of these potential turning point, Queensland crossed two sets and three minutes through Deloiuse Hoeter in the corner. It was the first of his double for the day, but this try was nowhere near as spectacular as his next one.
Delouise Hoeter Soars for his Second Try to open up game for Queensland
Worth catching if you haven’t is the great catch from Queensland winger Delouise Hoeter after an equally great cross field kick from halfback Kyle Laybutt.
The lively number 5 for Queensland soared well above his opponents and slammed the ball down in the same corner as he had done just two minutes previously for his first try.
It continues a great season of try scoring season for the winger who is currently playing for the Norths Devils in the Intrust Super Cup. He has six tries from the first nine rounds, and scored in 5 consecutive games to start the season, which also helped the Devils temporarily sit on top of the ladder for a week.
With Norths one of the Broncos many feeder clubs, and one of his competitors for a potential Broncos start on the other wing for the Qld Residents, it was a good display to keep his name in calculations for Wayne Bennett’s side.
Queensland Kick On to Seal a Big Win and Take Overall Series Lead
The Delouise double opened the floodgates for Queensland who got the chance to open up after spending a lot of time in the first half defending their line from NSW.
They scored another three tries in 10 minutes through Billy Walters, Tom Opacic and Mitchell Frei to make it 5 tries in under 20 minutes overall with Kyle Laybutt providing the excellent touches and kicking, and fullback Jahrome Hughes was dangerous throughout.
The win was Queensland’s 13th in this challenge of Queensland and NSW’s best, which now puts them one win ahead of their southern counterparts, with two draws rounding out the 27 matches.
It is great that this fixture now gets a standalone time, rather than being a curtain raiser that few are really interested in. Hopefully it survives as it is in the coming years, as from next year the state based teams get players that would normally be playing in the National Youth competition, which ends at the end of this season.
QLD RESIDENTS 36
Tries: Dean Britt (7m), Delouise Hoeter (46m), Delouise Hoeter (49m), Billy Walters (55m), Tom Opacic (59m), Mitchell Frei (65m)
Goals: Scott Doyle 5/6 Conv, 1/1 Pen
NSW RESIDENTS 6
Tries: Moses Leota (17m)
Goals: Jayden Nikorima 1/1 Conv