NSW under-18 forward, Fred Pakutoa is swarmed upon by an enthusiastic Queensland defence during the interstate match played at
NSW under-18 forward, Fred Pakutoa is swarmed upon by an enthusiastic Queensland defence during the interstate match played at

More misery for the Blues

By GREG WHITE

NEW South Wales fullback Fareni Moefaavo will never forget Wednesday's visit to Bellingen Park.

Moefaavo was the fall guy in four glaring mistakes that turned the Blues 12 point half time lead into a 28-26 victory for Queensland in the first match of the under-18 interstate series.

Not once, but three times, the young custodian spilled high kicks into his in goal with the Maroons scoring every time.

And to rub salt into bleeding wounds he was called back when racing towards an open goal for a try that would have levelled after referee Kirk Taylor spotted a glaring forward pass.

North Coast Division's Mark Morrison who coached the youngster at under-15 level was still in his corner after the game.

"Don't be hard on him," the master coach said.

"He's out of position and normally plays centre and did you see none of his team mates went back in support when the kicks came at him?"

The biggest crowd at the ground since the 1999 Group 2 grand final watched two sides with speed and skill levels that left them spellbound.

"Our go forward won us the contest," Queensland assistant coach Jim Look commented.

"We had a bad start but once the forwards gathered momentum we got on top and had them on the back foot."

Most of the northern thrust came courtesy of frontrower David Taylor.

Fresh from his first grade debut with Brisbane two weeks ago the star forward only played in the game after a tug-of-war with the Broncos was settled earlier in the week.

"Yes, they did want him for the Melbourne game on Friday but we convinced them how important this match was."

The Blues saw a last chance to level go begging.

A try three minutes from full time took them within two points of a draw but the conversion attempt finished off line.



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