NEW South Wales Country was raided by the Rangers in Rockhampton on Saturday night.
The Country Under 16 and 18 teams as well as the NSW Country Seconds Bulls were all beaten by their Queensland Country counterparts at Browne Park.
The Reece Simmonds-coached NSWC Under 16s were beaten 22-nil, the Aaron Watts-coached NSWCountry Under 18s lost 24-22 and the Country Bulls lost 38-22.
NSW Country Under 18 manager Mick Schmiedel said all three NSWC sides played well despite the losses.
“The 18s were unlucky,” he said.
“We scored beside the posts with a minute to go and the ref called it a double movement,” Schmiedel said.
“No way it was a double movement.”
Watts was also adamant the double movement call was wrong.
“We went close,” Watts said.
“The boys all played well in both junior games considering we were playing their second Queensland Under 18 side.
“To get that close was pretty good.”
Muswellbrook’s Ryan Holman was a standout for Watts, scoring two tries and winning the NSWC players’ player award.
He featured strongly with West Tamworth Lion Mitch Doring.
Leeton hooker Billy Gilbert was another impressive player in what was an enjoyable week for the Under 16 and 18 sides after wins over Australian Samoa in Brisbane last Monday night.
“It was a great experience for all the kids,” Watts said.
Simmonds was also delighted with his U16 side despite the 22-nil loss.
“We were under the pump early,” Simmonds said.
“We had to defend a lot of the first half on our own try line.
“That zapped a bit of energy out of us but they hung in there and worked for each other.”
He thought Hayden Loughrey and Harrison Buhler, who came off the bench, were two of his best.
“It’s been an exhausting week,” he said.
“But hopefully they will get a lot out of it and take it back to their local clubs.”
NSWC Seconds were in the game until the final minutes when the Queensland Rangers scored two late tries to blow the game out.
Scone lock Daniel Ritter was NSWC’s players’ player and, with fellow Scone representative Tim Smith, had good minutes for the Bulls.