Late tries scored by Young Cherrypickers duo Casey Wall and Jesse Corcoran has helped Riverina Bulls under-23s register a round one Country Championships win.
Wall and Corcoran crossed during the final 10 minutes of the match to lift the Bulls to a 26-18 win against Newcastle/Hunter at St Mary's on Saturday.
Corcoran, who played halfback, also slotted five goals while Wall played about 35 minutes at five-eighth after being introduced to the game after the break.
Coach Jody Rudd was thrilled with the side's defence.
"Defensively I thought we had a really good game," Rudd said.
"We fixed up a lot of the issues we had in our trial match, particularly on the edges, and I thought we controlled the ruck defensively very well. For them to get into good field position it really relied on our errors, some intercepts and some dropped balls.
"From that point of view the defence really showed the attitude the guys came into with.
"They've got a really positive attitude, didn't panic when we got behind in the game and I think they knew we could grind our way to a win."
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Meanwhile the women were much more comprehensive in the time first time a tackle competition has been introduced.
Emma Hickey scored twice as the girls scored a 22-6 victory. It places both sides in a good position to make finals despite coming up against Illawarra in the second round.
The top teams from across the state will make the semi-finals to be played on March 30.