Rangers snatch interstate glory
A FIELD goal from enterprising halfback Nathaniel Bowman helped Queensland Rangers to win in a tense Salter Oval encounter with New South Wales Country.
Rangers whipped the near-capacity grandstands of Salter Oval into a frenzy emerging from the blow-for-blow country representative fixture three-point winners, 19–16.
Coach Phil Lowe applauded the efforts of Bowman for scoring a well-timed field goal from a considerable distance to put scoreboard pressure on a resurgent New South Wales Country with 20 minutes remaining.
“It was an excellent option from him and a crucial decision which was made in the heat of battle,” he said.
Bowman slotted through the goal after mopping up a loose ball and extended the Queensland Rangers lead 19–12.
The field goal’s real value was not realised until New South Wales crashed through the Rangers’ line for a try with four minutes left.
If converted, the try would have tied the score at 18-18 and sent the representative clash into overtime.
New South Wales opted not to kick for goal with an eye firmly on the clock, but failed to penetrate the well-structured Rangers back-line.
“It’s amazing how much that one kick changed the dynamic of the game at the back-end,” Lowe said.
“When you’re playing football at that level it’s always going to be close and when it comes to overtime anything can happen.”
Five-eighth Allan Helldsinger was a dominant force in the halves, running straight through New South Country defenders and breaking through for two tries.
Marquee Brothers player Matt Templeman looked comfortable in Maroon and put in a spirited effort in the centres creating a series of scoring opportunities for his side.
Former Across The Waves campaigner and current Q-Cup Souths-Logan player Paul Stanley looked sharp in dummy-half.
“The local guys put in an excellent effort for us and seemed to be right at home at Salter,” Lowe said.
Lowe credited some rousing all-in chants rising from the grandstands to lifting the morale of his team in the hard-fought second stanza.
“It was a pretty strong turnout and having the majority of the spectators in our corner was a real boost in the tough periods of the game,” he said.
The win halted the dominance of New South Wales with New South Wales – two, Queensland – one.