Queensland ambushed NSW and reminded them why they have won seven State of Origin series in a row with a dominant 26-6 win at Suncorp Stadium in Game Two.
The match was less than two minutes old when the Maroons made their presence felt as Cooper Cronk threw a clever short ball to a rampaging Sam Thaiday who steamrolled his way across the line to make it 6-0. Just a few minutes later James Maloney was penalised for an infringement at marker, Johnathan Thurston piloted over the penalty goal and already NSW were chasing their tails.
Queensland weren’t letting up, though. NSW captain Paul Gallen was the only thing standing between Corey Parker and a second Maroons try when he held the veteran back-rower up, but it didn’t take long for the home side to cross again as Thurston completely bamboozled the Blues defence with a brilliant ball for Darius Boyd to score.
At this stage it was looking like a good, old-fashioned belting could be on the cards but NSW at least managed to stiffen their defence as Queensland took their 14-0 lead to the break. However, it didn’t take long afterwards for them to cross again with Thurston throwing an even better ball that cut out two players for Boyd to score his second.
Tensions threatened to boil over early in the second half and it didn’t take long for tempers to fray with Trent Merrin throwing punches at Brent Tate as both teams rushed in. Merrin and Tate were subsequently sin-binned for 10 minutes alongside Justin Hodges and Greg Bird although both Tate and Bird were desperately unlucky to find themselves on the sidelines under the NRL’s tough new fighting laws.
That didn’t stop Queensland, who scored their fourth try of the night thanks to a Cronk cross-field bomb that was taken by Greg Inglis, who scored the 15th try of his Origin career to make it 24-0.
NSW finally troubled the scorers close to full-time when Robbie Farah’s cross-field kick found an unmarked Brett Morris, but another Thurston penalty goal rounded out a dominant performance by the Maroons who squared the series ahead of the decider in Sydney.
Queensland enjoyed 53 per cent of possession and ran for 1360 metres to the Blues’ 1098.
Matt Scott enjoyed a big game for the home side, running for 169 metres, while Corey Parker added 160 in a typically busy performance.
Gallen made 124 metres and 36 tackles for NSW.