Drinkwater and Maumalo star in NSW Residents win
NSW registered a commanding 30-16 victory over QLD in Sunday's Residents clash at Langlands Park in Brisbane.
QLD started the match very flat and NSW capitalised, leading from start to finish in what was the first win for the side in this fixture since 2013.
New Zealand Warriors winger Ken Maumalo starred for NSW, scoring a hat-trick of tries in a performance that will no doubt have him pushing for first grade selection.
Queensland had their chances, but the game was won by NSW at the start of each half, with the homes side making countless errors in the first 15 minutes of each.
Up 14-10 at the break NSW started the second half on fire, scoring off their first set as fullback Justin Hunt broke through the line to gift halfback and Man of the Match Josh Drinkwater a try under the posts that gave NSW a 20-10 lead after 41 minutes.
Maumalo secured his hat-trick moments later, going over untouched in the corner in the 46th minute to make it 24-10.
After a dour period of the game, NSW interchange forward Dylan Kelly pounced on a Queensland error to run 90 metres and score a try that sealed the win for the New South Welshman. Five-eighth Shaun Nona made no mistake with the conversion to leave the score at 30-10 with 19 minutes to go.
Queensland's woes continued, losing centre Aaron Whitchurch for the match with a knee injury.
Moments later, Queensland added some respect to the scoreboard with five-eighth Cameron Cullen finding halfback Darren Nicholls with a classy cross-field chip. Nicholls converted his own try to reduce the margin to 14 but that was as close as they got.
Errors cost Queensland early, with two handling errors in the first three minutes – including a knock on off the kick-off from their captain Cullen – leading to the first points of the game.
Maumalo crossed in the 4th minute after a slick backline move gave the 21-year-old the space to score in the corner and give his side a 4-0 lead.
Maumalo doubled his tally in the 11th minute after a beautiful cut-out ball from Drinkwater found the New Zealand born winger in acres of space – the score 8-0.
Fullback Jahrome Hughes hit back for Queensland in the 21st minute to make it 8-6, a score that flattered the Queenslanders' poor start to the match.
Hughes copped a stray knee to the head from Nona in the process of scoring the try. The hit knocked the promising fullback out cold and he was ruled out for the rest of the contest – triggering a backline reshuffle.
NSW second-row forward Asipeli Fine took advantage of the unorganised Queensland backline, slicing through a weak defensive line to score in the 24th minute. Nona slotted the conversion from near the sideline to give his side a 14-6 lead.
Cullen showed the class that has seen him play NRL for the Gold Coast Titans this year, finding second-row forward Jack Svendsen in the 32nd minute with a classy short ball that put him over for a four-pointer. The score 14-10 as half-time approached.