Led by captain Aaron Kleier and individual winner Lawson Nobbs, Queensland defeated New South Wales by five rides and 415 points to win the professional bull-riding state versus state tournament on the weekend, for the second year in succession.
Competing in front of a home state crowd, Team Queensland was dominant on Saturday evening at the Cairns Convention Centre, to be crowned the 2021 PBR Origin champions.
"It feels bloody awesome," Queensland captain Aaron Kleier, from Clermont, said moments after the Maroons' victory. "Happy with all the boys, they all had a day and got in."
From the moment the first rider representing Queensland erupted from the chutes, the Maroons were atop the leaderboard, never once relinquishing the top spot to New South Wales.
PBR Origin II got underway with a showdown between captains - 2017 PBR Australia Champion Troy Wilkinson, Upper Horton, NSW for the Blues, and three-time, and reigning, Australian champion Kleier for the Maroons.
After Wilkinson rode Random Assault from Dunne Bulls for 82.5 points, Kleier brought the raucous crowd to its feet when he climbed aboard unridden Tribal, also from Dunne Bulls, who had never once been ridden in his 12 prior outs.
Kleier cracked Tribal's code, going the distance aboard the fierce bovine athlete for 84.5 points to give Queensland a 2-point lead.
Following back-to-back buck-offs registered by both teams, Bailey Woodard, Dingo, righted Queensland's momentum, and then Lawson Nobbs, Moura, padded the reining Origin champions' lead when he put out an 84.5-point score aboard Code Blue, owned by Fred Kleier.
Holding an 85-point lead midway through round one, Queensland then went on a tear, outscoring New South Wales three rides to one to enter round two with an impressive 254-point lead.
Those points for the Maroons were contributed by world finals qualifier Kurt Shephard of Mareeba, Mount Walker's Dan Ruhland, and 2020 PBR Australia grand finals event winner Brady Fielder, Clermont.
Cody Heffernan, Singleton, NSW was the lone rider to make the whistle for the Blues.
In round two, Queensland's momentum continued to roll in seemingly unstoppable fashion when young gun Kelsey Pavlou, Toora, was the first to convert and extend his state's lead to a then event-best 334.5 points.
Shepard delivered his second score of the evening, expanding the Maroons' lead to 335.5 points when he rode Milky Way Man for 82 points.
As the last man to leave the chutes in round two, Queensland's Lane Mellers, Mundubbera gave Queensland a 416.5-point lead and clinched the Maroons the 2021 PBR Origin Championship.
With crucial national points also on the line, Team Queensland riders filled the podium.
Nobbs finished first to earn 68.33 national points and Shephard was second to collect 58.5 national points.
Woodard concluded the event third to take home 39 national points.
"Its amazing," Nobbs said of his individual victory. "Good to get two bulls rode. Would have been good to get the third one, but still good."
In the race for the 2021 PBR Australia championship, Nobbs rose three positions, climbing from No. 10 to No. 7, surging within 89.5 points of No. 1 Kleier.
Also gaining ground, Shephard is now No. 3, and Woodard rose from No. 12 to No. 8.
New South Wales competitors Woodall and Slade finished fourth and fifth, respectively.
As the final flawless rider in the opening rounds, Woodall netted 33.5 national points and is now No. 13 in the standings, while Slade collected 25 national points for his 1-for-2 effort and is now ranked No. 6 in the nation.
The 2021 PBR Australia season will continue Saturday, July 31 in Rockhampton, at the Great Western Hotel, starting at 7pm.
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