Queensland Rangers Leon Panapa tries to break through New South Wales Country’s defence.
Queensland Rangers Leon Panapa tries to break through New South Wales Country’s defence. Scottie Simmonds

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.

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