Junior Eels reflect on U16 Origin Experience

Last week saw Queensland reclaim the Under 16s State of Origin title after a hard-fought 10-6 victory at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday 27 May.

Five Eels Harold Matthews Cup players were selected for the NSW Blues side - Ethan Parry, Tui Afualo, Josh Curran, Alex Seve and PJ Vaigalu, with Travis Turnbull representing the Queensland side.   

Turnbull was a standout in the clash scoring one try, one goal and proved to be a defensive powerhouse in the fullback position for Queensland diffusing several NSW scoring opportunities.

“Pretty great feeling and I am a bit sore after that,” Turnball said after the match.

“The boys played pretty well, we had a couple of errors and we just needed to hold on to the ball but we still got away with it in the end.”

“That’s pretty much what a fullback is meant to do, just support up the middle but we worked on that play a lot, just the combination between us,” a humbled Turnball added.

With a large representation of Eels players in the clash, it was a good opportunity for the players to face each other on a brand new stage.

“We were talking about it at the start of the game. They were talking about putting bombs up to me and jumping over me but it was all good,” Turnball said of playing against his fellow Eels teammates.

“He got me. I thought I was up and away down the sideline but he got me,” NSW and Eels winger Ethan Parry said after the clash.

“It was tough, when we went out there I tried to stay away but when there was a little bit of biff I ran in and Travis grabbed me and scared me” Parry added.

Whilst the NSW Under 16s side did not come away with the victory, NSW and Eels centre Tui Afualo was proud to claim Player’s Player for his performance.

“I feel good now. It was a good experience out there playing alongside the boys,” Afualo said after the game.

“Not the result we wanted by a good experience with the boys.”