Junior Blues make it five straight
The Junior Blues have continued their dominance at Under-20s level with a comfortable 36-22 win over Queensland in the Holden State of Origin curtain raiser on Wednesday night.
New South Wales controlled the match from the opening whistle and never looked troubled with their offloads causing all sorts of problems for the Queensland defence.
The Blues forwards dominated their Queensland rivals while Grant Garvey and Zac Woolford wreaked havoc out of dummy-half.
Queensland were in it at half-time but had their backs against the wall in the second 40 when halfback Cooper Bambling emerged from the sheds on crutches.
Despite the result, the Junior Maroons can take some positives from the contest with Cowboys speedster Gideon Gela-Mosby scoring a try and setting up four more, while Roosters winger Bernard Lewis crossed for a hat-trick.
The Junior Blues dominated early field position, but it was Queensland who got on the board first when Gela-Mosby got on the outside of his man to find winger Bernard Lewis with a speculative lofted pass to score after 12 minutes.
The hosts were given a great opportunity to his straight back when Lachlan Croker was taken out late by Jake Turpin, but Storm rookie Curtis Scott lost the ball as he tried to stretch out close to the line from the ensuing set.
Having gone close down the right edge a number of times, NSW finally struck gold through Reuben Garrick who took full advantage of a lovely offload from Tyrell Fuimaono and some quick hands from Scott to dive over.
It was another piece of second-phase footy that led to the next NSW try, with Max Elliott getting away a late offload in traffic to eventually send Croker over to extend the lead to eight.
The half-time break came at just the right team for Queensland, but not even the change of the ends could cruel the Blues' momentum as back-up hooker Zac Woolford wreaked havoc around the ruck to set up Jack Cogger.
Having played a pivotal role in the previous four-pointer, Woolford did it all himself from dummy-half a minute later to give the Blues a deserved 20-point lead.
There was simply no stopping the Blues in the second half, and when Taniela Paseka busted through to send Bayley Sironen over, the game was all but over with 25 minutes still to play.
Queensland managed to pull one back after try-scoring freak Gideon Gela-Mosby scooped up a loose ball close to the line, but it mattered little as Scott streaked away to send Matt Dufty over under the sticks shortly after.
The Junior Maroons wouldn't go down with a fight and were rewarded with Lewis diving over for his second after some good work down on the inside by Gela-Mosby.
The pair combined for a third time to complete Lewis' treble before the Cowboys flyer sent Bacho Salam away to make the score respectable.
Junior Blues 36 (Reuben Garrick, Lachlan Croker, Jack Cogger, Zac Woolford, Bayley Sironen, Matt Dufty tries; Brian Kelly 6 goals) defeated Junior Maroons 22 (Bernard Lewis 3, Gideon Gela-Mosby, Bacho Salam tries; Brodie Croft 1 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Half-time: 12-4 Junior Blues.
This article first appeared on NRL.com