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Strange bags three as NSW Under 19s go back-to-back

Ethan Strange has helped steer the NSW Under 19s Men’s team to an emphatic 32-14 win over Queensland after bagging a hat-trick in the Under 19s Men’s State of Origin match at Kayo Stadium in Redcliffe.

Strange was named Player of the Match after a dominant performance, with his right edge combination with winger Ethan Ferguson proving too strong for Queensland’s defence throughout the game. Ferguson also grabbed a try and landed four goals.

NSW successfully defended the Origin Shield they claimed last year after the representative match returned to the calendar following a two-year absence due to COVID-19.

NSW started the match on the front foot, threatening Queensland with the ball in hand and staying strong in defence. While Queensland looked to take the lead in the back end of the first half, an 18-point haul in the second half helped NSW secure the win.

NSW wasted no time capitalising on a Queensland knock-on in the early seconds of the game with five-eighth Latu Fainu sending centre Strange over in the first minute of the game. Ferguson failed to kick the conversion leaving the Blues lead to 4-0.

A high tackle followed by some push and shove between both teams saw Queensland centre Mitchell Jennings sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

NSW capitalised on another knock-on from Queensland, quickly shifting the ball out to right to Ferguson who dived over in the corner. He was unable to convert his own try, leaving the lead at 8-0.

Queensland opened their account in the 20th minute when NSW fullback Chevy Stuart lost possession of the ball in the in-goal area, prompting winger Timothy Sielaff-Burns to grab the scraps and score. He was unsuccessful converting his try but the margin was reduced to 8-4.

Queensland went back-to-back off the kick-off when centre Caleb Jackson made a line break down the sideline before passing the ball back on his inside to second-rower Will Sullivan to cross near the posts. Sielaff-Burns landed the conversion taking his team to a 10-8 lead.

NSW regained the lead with a length of the field try that saw the ball pass through the hands of multiple players before halfback Ethan Sanders sprinted away to finish it off. Ferguson successfully converted to put NSW back in front 14-10.

Queensland centre Caleb Jackson levelled the scores after catching a cross field kick from halfback Zac Lamont before planting it down with one hand to score. The conversion was waved away, leaving the scores tied up at 14-all.

Strange scored his second try of the night after chasing through a grubber kick from second-rower Harrison Hassett, and then showed great skill to juggle the ball before regathering to plant it over the line. Ferguson converted the try to give NSW the lead again 20-14.

NSW continued to pile on points with winger Savelio Tamale jumping out of dummy-half off the back of a quick play the ball before finding space in the defensive line and accelerating through to score. The conversion was successful, extending the lead out to 12 points.

The two Ethan’s starred after Ferguson broke through Queensland’s defence before kicking it back on his inside for NSW to regather. Shortly after, Joash Papalii put a kick out wide for Strange to pluck out of the air and cross for his third try of the night.

Ferguson landed the conversion to ensure the Shield would remain in NSW for another year.

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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