Young Blues just lose out in Oz

21:45, Feb 02 2013

A young Blues team made a promising start to their new tenure under Sir John Kirwan by pushing an international-stacked Reds team to the wire in a preseason match in Toowoomba.

The Reds, featuring 11 Wallabies, won 41-35 in an action-packed match.

Burly wing Albert Nikora scored two of the Blues' five tries with Marty McKenzie converting four of them.

Kirwan decided to leave most of his big names in Auckland to see what the new wave of talent offered and they gave him plenty of heart with a pleasing display.

The Blues got out to a 14-0 lead by the first drinks break with prop Angus Ta'avao and lock Ronald Raaymakers scoring from set pieces near the line.

But Queensland responded with three close-range tries of their own.

The Reds got out to 29-14 before the two teams went tit-for-tat over the dying stages.

Reds 41 (Adam Wallace-Harrison 2, Liam Gill 2, James Hanson, Radike Samo, Rod Davies tries; Quade Cooper 2, Mike Harris conv)

Blues 35 (Albert Nikoro 2, Angus Ta'avao, Ronald Raaymakers, Francis Saili tries; Marty McKenzie 4 conv)

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