The Queensland Reds Development XV have claimed the opening match of the Queensland Rugby Challenger Series, running out 57-24 winners against the President’s XV at Sunnybank Rugby Club.
Bond University winger Joey Fittock scored a hat-trick for the Reds side, while flyhalf Lawson Creighton was in top-form, laying on a number of tries in a polished performance.
Wests title winner Ben Navosailagi had a double for the President’s XV outfit, with the Reds scoring nine tries to four in a high-scoring affair.
Fittock opened the scoring for the Reds in the eighth-minute, the Bond University winger steaming onto a superb Floyd Aubrey long ball to score in the left-hand corner.
Aubrey had Queensland’s next in the 16th minute, the 19-year-old toeing a Creighton crossfield kick ahead and outpacing the chasing defence to plant the ball over the line. Creighton converted to open-up a 12-nil lead for his side.
Navosailagi was first to cross for the President’s XV, skipper Eli Pilz floating a cut-out ball to his winger who strolled across the line untouched. UQ’s Brad Twidale made no mistake with the conversion, cutting the deficit to 12-7 with 15-minutes remaining in the opening half.
A stunning runaway try to Ethan Dobbins saw the President’s XV side cross for their second five-pointer of the afternoon, before UQ flyer Kye Oates crossed out wide to open-up a 19-12 advantage for his side.
Mac Grealy fired back for Queensland’s third try on the stroke of half-time, the fullback winning the race to dive on a deft Creighton grubber in the in-goal. Creighton nailed the conversion to even the scores at 19-all at the break.
Fittock had his second early in the second-half, Creighton sending his winger over with another outstanding crossfield kick.
A pair of rolling maul tries extended Queensland’s lead to 33-19 with half-an-hour to play, Sam Wallis and Matt Faessler the beneficiaries of the plays, with Creighton converting both scores.
Naivosalagi showed his pace for the President’s XV’s next try, as the winger sliced through the defence with raw speed to score his second in the 57th minute.
Premiership winning captain Connor Anderson crossed out-wide in the 65th minute for the Reds, Creighton putting him over with an inch-perfect cut-out ball. Tom Lynagh nailed the conversion from the sideline to put the score out to 43-24.
The Reds had their seventh soon after as Spencer Jeans went himself off the back of a scrum close to the line to bring up the half century. Lynagh again made no mistake with the conversion to extend the margin to 28 points inside the final five minutes.
Fittock finished in style to bookend the match with his third of try of the afternoon to see the Reds Development XV side run-out 57-24 winners.
The series heads to Easts Rugby Club for the second and final match next Saturday 15 October, with the fixture streamed live via the Queensland Reds Facebook page.