With halves Sam Walker and Josh James controlling the game superbly, Queensland under 18s have beaten NSW 34-12 in the Origin curtain-raiser at Suncorp Stadium.
The win broke a three-year drought for Queensland in the annual under 18s clash and was built on a powerful forward display and a pinpoint kicking game by captain James.
The Brisbane Norths No.6 laid on a try for winger Xavier Coates with a pinpoint cross field kick in the 54th minute and landed a couple of conversions from wide out in the first half.
Coates racked up huge running metres in the second half as he broke the Blues line on several occasions and was a fitting winner of the man of the match award.
Queensland v New South Wales Under 18s
Coates, who played in the Brisbane Broncos' trial game against Souths Logan in February, was part of the Tweed Heads Seagulls side which won the national under-18s final over NSW champions Illawarra.
After trailing 18-6 at the break, the Michael Ennis-coached NSW side fought back through prop Sione Fainu but Coates’ try and a runaway intercept try to Fanitesi Niu put the game out of the Blues’ reach.
Interchange utility back Reece Walsh then put the icing on a memorable win for the Maroons when he crossed in the closing stages.
Queensland made 45 tackle breaks across the 70 minutes and their power running proved too much for the Blues' defence.
Match: QLD U18s v NSW U18s
Round 1 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane