NSW continued their dominance in the junior State of Origin with the under-16s completing a series cleansweep.
It didn’t all go the NSW team’s way though, fighting hard for a late win at Suncorp Stadium last Wednesday.
Woodcroft resident Tyler Field, 16, was originally picked on the bench for the Blues but the talented Parramatta Eels five-eighth was promoted to the starting line-up in the centres.
The Eels Harold Matthews captain said it was a great experience, especially playing in front of the Queensland crowd.
“It’s probably one of the best stadiums I’ve ever played at and the crowd was really great, especially towards the end when they all started to come in,” he said.
“You couldn’t really hear anything on the field most of the time, anytime anything good happened on the field, you’d hear the roar of the crowd.”
Field played a strong role in the win with the final pass for the opening Blues try to winger Cooper Jenkins.
At 16-all with 90 seconds left, Queensland took an unsuccessful field goal attempt from 30 metres out.
Blues fullback Albert Hopoate beat several defenders before sending centre Bradman Best the length of the field for the match-winning try.
See the match-winning try here.
For Field, it was a great experience, particularly the camp in the lead up.
“Camp was great with Freddy Fittler and Danny Buderus in there really helped us mentally prepare and being around the boys was great,” he said.
“The talk in camp was to have the whitewash against Queensland. It was good to achieve and it was all part of the mindset.”
It’s been a strong season for Field, who led the Eels to the Harold Matthews preliminary final.
He said it was an important season for his development and is looking to move up to the under-18s SG Ball squad.
“There were some ups and downs throughout the season but by the end I really started to find my feet and play how I wanted to play and be where I wanted to be,” he said.
Looking at SG Ball next year and pushing for the starting five-eighth spot.
Field currently plays for the Hills Bulls under-16s division one team and is part of the Patrician Brothers, Blacktown GIO Schoolboys Cup team.
A year 11 student at the school, Field said playing with the best players at the school has been beneficial.
Although he hopes to get some game time, he knows he will get another shot in year 12.
“It’s another good experience, there are a lot of good players amongst the group,” he said.
“That also helps me improve my game by being around the team and training with them.
“They’re a very strong team and have a big rivalry with Hills Sports High as well so if we come up against them, it’d be good to get the win.”