They may have been on the beaten side, but Newcastle Knights’ juniors Heath Gibbs and KC Edmonds impressed for the NSW U16s Indigenous side on Saturday.
Both Gibbs and Edmonds stood out in an entertaining and hard fought match, won in the end by Queensland 18-14.
Gibbs was particularly strong at five-eighth for the New South Welshman, scoring a brilliant try in the first half.
Edmonds also performed well, coming off the bench for the Blues and looking dangerous every time he touched the ball.
The match was a great experience for both players, who will now look to return to the Club’s junior system and continue the good form.
Queensland dominated possession in the opening exchanges of the match, but were repeatedly repelled by some brilliant NSW defence.
This gave the boys in blue plenty of confidence and they opened the scoring in the 12th minute through Knights’ junior Gibbs, who swooped on a maroon mistake to score in the eastern corner.
The conversion from Sailor- the son of former international Wendell Sailor- was waved away.
The Maroons hit back 13 minutes later through some fleet-footed work from centre Steven Tatipata to level the scores at 4-all.
NSW went back to the lead in the 36th minute via a try to Dean Kelly and conversion from Sailor.
The Blues lead 10-4 the dying stages of the first half, before Queensland’s Julian Christian scored right on the stroke of the break.
NSW went into halftime leading 10-8.
The Blues extended their lead to 14-8 just five minutes into the second half.
At this stage it looked like the Blues had the potential to run away with the match, but the Queenslanders refused to go away.
The men from north of the boarder scored in the 40th minute via Christian Power, while Michael Carroll added the extras to level the scores at 14-all.
Queensland were in again just two minutes later with centre Tatipata grabbing his second try to give the Maroons the lead 18-14.
In the end it was a slender advantage they managed to maintain to earn a hard fought four point win.
Earlier, the NSW Indigenous Women defeated QLD 14-4 in the Women's All Stars match at Hunter Stadium.