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Despite being thrashed in Origin 1 three weeks ago the bookies had installed New South Wales as slight favourites for victory in the second game of the three-match series over Queensland as a nation ground to a halt and switched on their TV sets.

There were just two minor changes for Billy Slater and the Maroons, Gagai and Capewell being brought in on the bench, but wholesale changes for the Blues who introduced Murray, Watson, Edwards, Mitchell, Moses and Marnett as Michael Maguire shuffled his pack to get the crucial win to send the series level.

A home win for New South Wales at the Melbourne Cricket Ground would push the series to a competitive third game, a loss would give a series win to Queensland.

After an even opening ten minutes New South Wales had two repeat sets inside the Queensland twenty before forcing a goal line drop out. Three tackles into the kick return Liam Martin switched direction as he took the Mitchell Moses pass to break through the line and score from ten metres out to open the NSW account. Zac Lomax drilled hic conversion between the uprights for a 6-0 lead.

The second try came on seventeen, this time down the left wing, after a `passing move from right to left with Brian To’o finding just enough space to squeeze in at the corner. Lomax was on target from the touchline, the Blues looking like a totally different side from the one which capitulated in the first game, Queensland getting no time with the ball in hand.

It was becoming a rout on twenty-three when Lomax jumped over the Queensland defence to catch a Moses kick to the corner, dropping to the ground to score. Lomax just wide of the mark this time with his conversion but it was all one-way traffic.

After Queensland put the kick-off out on the full, they invited another Blues attack and it resulted in a fourth try, To’o grounding a Moses kick to the corner for a 20-0 scoreline. Lomax hit the target again from the touchline and already it was looking like there was no way back for the Maroons.

It was all too easy for NSW Stephen Crichton found Dylan Edwards who put Lattrell Mitchell clear to score from ten metres out, again by the left corner flag. It was no issue for Lomax who kicked his fourth goal from five attempts.

Ninety second before the interval the Blue got their sixth try of the half with Zac Lomax getting his second of the night as he found acres of space wide right. The NSW winger kicked his fifth goal of the night for an incredible and unthinkable half time scoreline of 34-0.

Two fracas within a minute on fifty led to Liam Martin and Patrick Carrigan being sat down for ten minutes by referee Klein for rushing in.

On fifty-three Queensland finally got their first try of the game with Jeremiah Nanai crashing over the line from five metres out off a Daly Cherry-Evans short pass. Valentine Holmes added the conversion for 6-34.

Just before the hour mark the ‘Hammer’ Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow collected a delightful Tom Deardon chip over the top to run twenty and score under the sticks. Holmes was on target with the conversion, the NSW lead down to twenty-two points and a much better second half showing from the Maroons.

The Blues weren’t going to entertain any thoughts of a Maroons fightback, and on sixty-two some deft passing from left to right found plenty of space for Dylan Edwards to run the angle and score ten in from the right corner flag. The kick was wide of the mark, the scoreline 38-12.

Spaces were appearing across the field as Queensland got their third, a long pass from Cherry-Evans to Murray Taulagi saw him walk in at the corner, and when Holmes kicked his third for a final score of 18-38.

The game was won within the opening twenty minutes by a revitalised New South Wales side who blitzed their opponents with a scintillating attacking and stoic defensive effort which saw them spend almost the entire period inside the Maroons half.  It sets up a mouthwatering third, and deciding game, on the seventeenth of July with the outcome of series winner very much in the balance.

New South Wales: Edwards (T), To’o (2T), Mitchell L (T), Crichton S, Lomax (2T, 5/7 G), Luai, Moses, Trbojevic, Robson, Haas, Martin (T, SB on 50), Crichton A, Murray.  Subs: Yeo, Watson, Leniu, Young. 18th Man: Barnett.

Queensland: Walsh, Coates, Holmes (3/3 G), Tabuai-Fidow (T), Tualagi (T), Dearden, Cherry-Evans, Cotter, Hunt, Collins, Su’A, Nanai (T), Carrigan (SB on 50). Subs: Grant, Fotuaika, Kaufusi, Capewell. 18th Man: Gagai. 

Half-Time: 34-0.

Full-Time: 38-18.

Score Progression: 4-0, 6-0, 10-0, 12-0, 16-0, 20-0, 22-0, 26-0, 28-0, 32-0, 34-0 : HT: (SB), (SB), 34-4, 34-6, 34-10, 34-12, 38-12, 38-16, 38-18 :FT.

Lead Exchanges: NSW.

Referee: Ashley Klein.   

Attendance: 90,084.



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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 26th Jun 2024 12:59 PM | Views : 1846 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES