Queensland Murri side overrun by NSW rivals
TYREECE Gyemore's Queensland Murri side was unable to quell a late New South Wales Koori fightback, succumbing 16-14 in a highly entertaining interstate clash in Newcastle.
The Cherbourg Hornets junior helped the visiting Queenslanders to a 14-4 half-time lead but a second-half fightback from the hosts - punctuated by a successful conversion three minutes from full-time to give them the lead - saw the Kooris claim the Awabakal shield for the first time since 2013.
The two under-16 representative sides served as a curtain raiser to the Hornets-All Blacks interstate challenge, where the New South Wales side again prevailed in a 34-12 result.
Murri coach Jim Stevens told QRL media he was proud of his side's performance despite the loss.
"I was very proud of them and they tried hard, they really tried in defence,” Stevens said.
"We had our opportunitiesto over the line four times with no result - twice we knocked it on and twice we were disallowed. In saying that, NSW played well and warmed into the match.”
Stevens was most proud of the maturation of his players, over a journey that began in October and saw them travel to New Zealand.
"This has all been a great experience,” Stevens said.
"Since October to last weekend you can see the development of these players from boys into young men.”