Blues retain U18 Origin trophy

Shawn Blore

New South Wales have retained bragging rights over Queensland at the under-18 level with a 16-10 victory at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Eels’ prop Stefano Utoikamanu was the hero for the Blues, crashing over late to break a 10-all deadlock and give his side the win.

Queensland started off strong in the first half, with second rower Tino Fa’asuamaleaui holding off numerous Blues players to score the first points of the game.

The junior Blues repelled a number of Maroons’ attacking raids to keep the score to just 6-0 at the break.

They came out rejuvenated in the second half, with centre Bronson Xerri getting their first points after Queensland left a kick to bounce to winger Jason Saab.

Saab then scored himself as the Blues’ spread it wide and they had themselves a 10-6 lead.

A few minutes later, an Ethan Bullemor bust saw Queensland in prime attacking position.

Captain David Fifita barged over to score and level the game at 10 a piece.

A tense final 10 minutes were then played out before Utoikamanu sealed the game for New South Wales.

The win gives New South Wales their third straight under-18 Origin victory.

NSW U18 16 (Jason Saab, Stefano Utoikamanu, Bronson Xerri tries; Jock Madden 2 goals) def. Qld U18 10 (Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, David Fifita tries; Tanah Boyd goal) at the MCG.

Click here for full scorers and team lists.

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