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CABE NSW Under 18s fall short against QLD

It was a gallant performance from the CABE NSW Under-18s but it wasn't enough to stop Queensland Under-18s from recording a 34-12 victory at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday. 

It was a relentless second-half performance that proved the difference, with winger Xavier Coates producing some magical efforts, including the match-sealing try, to inspire his side to an impressive victory. 

NSW trailed 18-6 at the break and it seemed as though they would respond in fine style with a try early in the second-half but they were unable to maintain momentum as Queensland ran away with it late in the contest. 

After a gritty opening affair, Queensland rake Jake Simpkin broke the deadlock when he buried his way over in just the fourth minute of play. 

But NSW would respond in perfect style after they capitalised on back-to-back penalties with David Hollis producing a powerful effort from close-range, courtesy of a beautifully-timed pass from hooker Mitchell Black. 

Jayden Sullivan made his presence felt after his towering bomb on the ensuing set was fumbled by Queensland fullback Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, although they were unable to take advantage with an error just a few tackles later. 

Alofiana Khan-Pereira helped Queensland regain the lead after finishing off a slick right-to-left shift with a 20m dash towards the left-hand corner, with Joshua James converting from the sideline to take a 12-6 lead with just 15 minutes remaining in the first-half. 

Although NSW had a golden chance for a quick reprieve, it was Queensland who took an early stranglehold in the contest when Fanitesi Niu crossed out-wide to set an 18-6 lead at half-time. 

NSW made a blistering start to the second-half with countless chances to reduce the deficit, and they eventually found a breakthrough when Sione Fainu powered his way over in the 40th minute. 

Khan-Pereira looked to have earned his second try and an immediate reply for Queensland when he pounced on a loose ball in the left-hand corner, but was ruled to be offside in his chase of the ball. 

Queensland halfback Sam Walker took it upon himself to spark his side when he broke the line with a sharp dummy, although NSW's scrambling defence proved defiant. 

Unlucky not to capitalise on their previous chance, Queensland extended their lead when Coates latched onto a cross-field kick from James for his sids's fourth try of the game. 

The floodgates opened when Coates broke the line with a dynamic run up the middle, and a another try loomed when Walker placed a pinpoint grubber into the in-goal but Reece Hoffman couldn't grasp the ball. 

Brimming with confidence, Coates produced a carbon-copy effort with another break just two minutes later, but the play would end in exactly the same way when NSW pounced on a loose ball shortly after. 

Just when NSW looked to have gained a glimmer of hope with an attacking raid on the Queensland try-line, it proved to no avail as Niu intercept a Sullivan cut-out pass and sprinted 95m to score. 

A try to Reece Walsh in the dying stages was the icing on the cake for Queensland as they recorded a dominant win.  

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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