GYMPIE POWERHOUSE: Tino Fa'asuamaleaui takes on the Blues defence in the U18 Maroons 11 jumper.
GYMPIE POWERHOUSE: Tino Fa'asuamaleaui takes on the Blues defence in the U18 Maroons 11 jumper. Nathan Hopkins

How Tino made his mark for the U18s maroons

Gympie's Tino Fa'asuamaleaui made his mark for the Maroons in the under-18's Origin curtain raiser on Wednesday night.

The Maroons went down in a nail biting game against the Blues 16-10, a late try to NSW forward Stefano Utoikamanu sealing the match for the young Blues.

Fa'asuamaleaui got the first points on the board for the Queenslanders off the back of a strong set.

His size got him close to the line and once he got his arm free the Blues had no chance.

Wearing maroon for the second time in the U18's line-up it was tough to come away with another loss at the hands of NSW after losing last year's series.

With Tanah Boyd's conversion, they held a 6-0 lead at the half-time break.

Fa'asuamaleaui looked to get his second shortly after but was denied as the referee ruled obstruction.

There were some worrying signs for Queensland though when their plans to go to the right around NSW were thwarted with the young Maroons pushed out into touch on multiple occasions.

As the second half kicked off, the Blues did not waste any time working their way into the match and scoring in the first minute of the second half.

The slow start to the half cost Queensland in the end, but skipper David Fifita was hopeful to lead his side to victory.

A tough conversion for Boyd meant the scores were level at 10-10.

These electrifying youngsters were entertaining and as exciting as their Maroons counterparts. Fa'asuamaleaui wore the Number 11 jersey and was relentless in defence.

As the second game is not too far away he will be a headache for the NSW forwards, who will have the task of containing him.

The Gympie product regularly trains with the Storm while playing for the club's feeder club, Sunshine Coast Falcons, in Queensland's Intrust Super Cup.

Gympie Times


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