Full-time: NSW 16-18 Queensland
Two try-savers in two tackles! Tedesco grabs a Thurston grubber in the NSW in goal. Can NSW hold their point lead with half-time nigh? Thurston grubbers from a long way out, which catches no-one by surprise. NSW pick up inside their own 10m line. A few tackles later Pearce kicks to Gagai again. Sports "If he gives it, they score. Phil Withall, as reliable as a Swiss watch with an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, writes in:. As he ages Laurie Daley seems to be turning into Kenn Dodd.
NSW blow a chance to really put on gap on Qld. Gagai hangs on and drives Hayne into touch. Would Morris have scored? NSW right on top, I hardly need to say. Qld have been missing tackles and NSW have a head of steam. Slater appears to be carrying his left arm. He carries on, however, and soon kicks into touch on the full.
Key events Show 8. NSW Queensland 8. NSW Qld Thurston 8. NSW Qld Gagai 78m 7. NSW Qld Thurston 7. NSW Qld Gagai 53m 7. Facebook Twitter Google plus. Queensland have won it and the series is still alive. NSW 50m away from the Qld line with 45 seconds to go. From 5m inside the right touchline he guides it over! NSW are looking tired. A few tackles later, Pearce bombs to Valentine Holmes. NSW making the easier metres in attack at the moment. Here are the first half stats.
Special mention to missed tackles and completion rate: NSW Qld Phew, that was tough, fast-paced, hectic and thrilling. Phil Withall, as reliable as a Swiss watch with an overdeveloped sense of responsibility, writes in: Michael Morgan comes and almost hits him. Queensland forced Nathan Cleary in-goal to earn a repeat set on the back of a ten-minute period of physical dominance.
It came after Cleary was two-minutes earlier forced to make a try-saving tackle on Greg Inglis in the open-field, grabbing the Rabbitohs superstar around his ankles. Maroons captain Greg Inglis was leading from the front as Queensland tried to overpower the Blues. GI with a crunching hit on Cleary! Trbojevic's face when he realised Cleary was about to get his shit mixed James Maloney had his hands in a second NSW try in the space of four minutes when he kicked a perfectly weighted bomb for Blues rookie Tom Trbojevic.
Tedesco breaks away and Tommy Turbo does the rest. Ben Hunt committed to rushing in to try and tackle Boyd Cordner and created a hole in the Maroons line when the pass went to fullback James Tedesco out the back. Tedsco then put Mitchell into a hole with a nice held-up short ball before Mitchell took contact from Hunt and Dane Gagai on the try line, but still pushed his way over.
Another James Maloney howler allowed Queensland the field position which saw them hit the front in the 44th minute. Queensland scored on the next set of six when Ben Hunt delivered another perfectly weighted kick into the in-goal. Eight tries in eight Origin games for Gagai! NSW were doing really well inside passes, turning the ball back inside, looking to go through Queensland.
And then tried to go around them on a set play and Valentine Holmes picked it off and took it the other way. I thought probably the last 10 minutes of the first half Queensland started to really look dominant. Queensland was denied a repeat set by the video referee when Dane Gagai was ruled to have knocked on in the in-goal. Despite the manic speed of Roberts and Josh Addo-Carr, Holmes was never in danger of reaching the try line. Blues legend Peter Sterling said it was easy to see the intercept unfolding and was surprised Maloney still decided to throw his shocking pass.
Took it on the chest, 80m in front. Just what Queensland needed. Greg Inglis put a bone-jarring hit on Blues winger Tom Trbojevic, triggering the first melee of the game.
Inglis ran in and put a crunching hit under the ribs of the Manly star — but was ruled to have been a mile offside. His violent driving tackle saw Blues players run in to push him off Trbojevic — but the melee went no further than that.
Cook shows his speed from half! Tedesco backs up and scores! James Maloney kicked NSW ahead with a simple penalty conversion from right in front of the sticks. Blues are completing their sets and putting pressure on the Maroons. Big 10 minutes for the Queenslanders right now. Cooper was forced to dive on the kick after it had bounced off the whistlle-blower and forced a dop-out. The ball bounces off the ref and the Blues get it back! Camped in the NSW red zone, Cameron Munster was penalised for running around his own player on the left edge on a play he would have gone on to score.
Munster went on to kick a grubber into the in-goal and would have scored because NSW fullback James Tedesco was nowhere to be seen. Different stance origin pic. In a break with tradition, Greg Inglis and Boyd Cordner eyeballed each other during Advance Australia Fair before getting stuck into the start of play. The Maroons cult hero declared he is pessimistic ahead of the series opener, admitting the speed in the NSW backline concerns him. Melbourne was left impressed by the pre-game State of Origin entertainment by rockers Peking Duk.
Will Chambers kicked it dead on the last play. Full credit to the Blues, they defended well. The Maroons did enough to set-up a thrilling finish when Felise Kaufusi set-up a try for Will Chambers in the 63rd minute. NSWRL lead with 17 minutes remaining. That try took the Blues to — and it proved a bridge too far for the Maroons to recover from. Blues lead after 33 minutes. Ben Hunt became just the second player to commit a penalty try professional foul in State of Origin.
According to Fox Sports, Mal Meninga was the last player to receive a six-pointer from a penalty try in the second ever State of Origin game 37 years ago. Their second try was the big talking point when Hunt had to perform a professional foul to stop Cordner jumping onto a grubber from James Maloney that bounced into the in-goal. The set-play was chased down by Cordner only for the Blues captain to be taken out with a shoulder charge by Hunt.
Channel 9 guru Phil Gould screamed: Cordner was running towards the ball at the time of the contact. The contact stops Cordner from continuing to chase for the ball and take possession. Billy Slater showed he remains one of the best players in rugby league with a freakish first 15 minutes in Origin II.
His good work was all brought undone by a Blues fightback which saw Ben Hunt produce a complete brain snap when he took Boyd Cordner out off the ball and was hit with a penalty try that allowed NSW to take a lead into half time. The Blues first got on the board when James Maloney picked out Josh Addo-Carr unmarked on the wing with a darting, double cut-out ball. Addo-Carr had to step back inside two Maroons defenders before planting the Steeden over the line.
A fire pass to Addo-Carr! Valentine Holmes delivered the first points for Origin II when Slater and Greg Inglis combined to create a gaping hole for the Maroons winger to streak through.
Tom came off his wing, left Holmes unmarked.