Queensland dominates NSW to force Origin decider
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Queensland prop Sam Thaiday scored in the second minute and winger Darius Boyd crossed five minutes later to give Queensland the early lead and a dominating 26-6 win over New South Wales in the second State of Origin match on Wednesday.
The four-tries-to-one win ensured the best-of-three series would go to a deciding match on July 17 in Sydney, where New South Wales will try to prevent Queensland from winning its eighth consecutive Origin series between the bitter state rivals.
New South Wales won the opening match 14-6 in Sydney. On Wednesday the Blues, who trailed 14-0 at halftime, were never in the game against a resurgent Queensland side playing before 52,000 home fans.
It was the fifth straight Origin win by Queensland at Brisbane.
By the 48th, Boyd had scored his second try and Greg Inglis pounced on a Cooper Cronk kick to make it 24-0 in the 56th.
New South Wales finally got on the scoreboard with a Brett Morris try with 11 minutes remaining.
“We knew we needed to respond after Game 1,” said Queensland captain Cameron Smith. “Overall, a great team effort.”
The stage was set for a fiery second game after New South Wales captain Paul Gallen punched Queensland forward Nate Myles in the first match. The encounter prompted the National Rugby League to introduce a new rule potentially banning any player who threw a punch.
Tempers almost flared in the 53rd when Queensland fullback Billy Slater went on report for an apparent elbow to New South Wales halfback Mitchell Pearce during a tackle.
A minute later, Queensland winger Brent Tate pushed at Gallen after the Blues captain tackled Johnathan Thurston. New South Wales forward Trent Merrin then hit Thurston, and when the altercation finished, Tate and Justin Hodges and Merrin and Greg Bird of the Blues were all sent off for 10 minutes.
Thurston said New South Wales got the early jump in the first game, a situation Queensland had to counteract in the second.
“We knew we had to come out quickly,” Thurston said. “We were a bit disjointed in the first game. Tonight we had to make sure we got the ball to the right person in the end.”
Gallen said his side has to “improve everywhere.”
“They got off to such a great start and had a lot of things go their way,” Gallen said. “Everyone wants to see a decider, so it’s on.”
Queensland 26 (Darius Boyd 2, Greg Inglis, Sam Thaiday tries; Johnathan Thurston 5 goals), New South Wales 6 (Brett Morris try, James Maloney goal). HT: 14-0.