Toyota Cowboy Javid Bowen provided the game’s most magical moment as the XXXX Queensland Residents squad downed the NSW Cup representative team 24-16 at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
With a swerve and a step, the Maroons winger, playing his first game of senior representative football, burst straight through the Blues’ defensive line before racing another 55 metres to score the outstanding try in the Queenslanders’ four tries to three victory.
Bowen’s four-pointer, which came with 28 minutes to go, proved to be the last for the Maroons who were forced to hold off a late rally from the Blues.
The visitors had clearly been second best for the first hour, mistakes inside their own 30-metre zone being their chief problem.
Aaron Whitchurch flew highest to snare a crosskick to score the opening try for Queensland, who then never gave up the lead despite being forced to play the last eight minutes a man short after fullback Henare Wells was sin-binned for a professional foul.
NSW winger Chanel Mata’utia, who opposed Bowen in what was an evenly matched duel, equalled Whitchurch by collecting a double.
Bowen’s Northern Pride teammate, former Cowboy Blake Leary, was on hand to touch down a kick into the in-goal for Queensland’s second try and was one of his team’s best with a workaholic performance full of effort and strong running that often bent back the NSW defence.
The home team, coached by Pride coach Jason Demetriou, led 18-6 at half time.
Their lineup contained two other players from the Intrust Super Cup leaders, Davin Crampton and Shaun Nona, as well as former Cowboys Kalifa Faifai Loa, Felise Kaufusi and Dane Hogan.
Kaufusi was put on report for a dangerous throw in the first half but appeared to be the victim of mistaken identity.