Baby Blues make it three from three to retain Lockyer Shield
The New South Wales Under 20 Origin side has maintained their unbeaten record in the annual fixture with a convincing 30-8 win at Sportingbet Stadium tonight.
The Darren Lockyer Shield never really looked like it was going to exchange hands at any stage with the Blues leading by 14 at the main break and extending that margin out to 22 by full time.
The home side got off to the perfect start when Bulldogs winger Tyrone Phillips outran his opposite number in Nene MacDonald to the corner in the 12th minute and with Gutherson’s conversion, NSW lead 6-0.
The Blues didn’t have to wait much longer to extend their lead when man of the match Jake Mamo scored the first of his three tries on the night, chasing down and passing a QLD defender in a race to ground the ball.
Leading 12-0, the Blues seemed to let the occasion get to them somewhat when a few little spot fires flared up around the park. And as a result, both sides found themselves short a player for ten minutes with Matt Lodge (NSW) and John Folau (QLD) both being binned for separate incidents.
Finally when both sides began to start playing some football again, NSW extended their lead to 18 off the back of some Knights inter-club brilliance between Mata’utia and Mamo which resulted in Mamo’s second.
Just as it appeared that NSW would take their 18 point advantage into the sheds, QLD finally got on the board courtesy of their hulking winger John Folau.
The first try of the second half was always going to be pivotal, and despite a bright start by the visitors, it was once again the home side that struck first when Sione Mata’utia was too much to handle for the QLD defence.
Mamo bagged himself a hat trick in the 68th minute, once again displaying the type of speed that has NSW fans salivating about his bright representative future.
A late QLD try to Bateman did little to blunt the Blues excitement when the full time siren went, and after 80 minutes of tense origin type intensity, the job was done for yet another year.
Outside of Mamo, the Blues were also well served by the likes of Mata’utia, Lodge, Trbojevic, Elliot and Bird.
NSW Under-20s Origin 30 (J Mamo 3, T Phillips, S Mata'utia tries; C Gutherson 5 goals) def. Queensland Under-20s Origin 8 (Folau, Bateman tries).