Blues bounce back in game two
New South Wales have levelled the 2020 state of origin series at one game apiece, trouncing Queensland 34-10 at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on Wednesday night.
The Maroons opened the try scoring when Xavier Coates scored in the eighth minute, but the next five would go to the Blues as they controlled the game for the most part, Nathan Cleary bouncing back from a poor game one to star for New South Wales.
The visitors were dealt an early blow when Cameron Munster left the field in only the second minute with a head knock, failing his head injury assessment to be ruled out for the night with Ben Hunt off the bench and into the halves.
Maroons young gun Coates scored a freaky flying try in the corner to make it a 4-0 advantage in the opening minutes.
The Blues hit back 10 minutes later when Cody Walker bounced through the defensive line and snuck his way to a try, and they led 6-4.
They extended the lead when new captain James Tedesco sliced through to score in the 23rd minute and make it 12-4.
The Blues struck again just before half time through Josh Addo-Carr and it was 18-4 at the break. They had also lost Tyson Frizell to a HIA midway through the half, but he returned.
It was all going NSW’s way by half time and the Maroons needed another Wayne Bennett speech to fire them up and salvage the contest.
The second half began with more of the same as Jack Wighton barged through the shaky Queensland defence to extend the lead.
NSW shifted the ball left and found Daniel Tupou on the wing to score and make it 28-4 with the missed conversion.
The game then fired up when players came together and punches were thrown as a tiny incident escalated into a full-on brawl.
Payne Haas and Tino Fa’asuamaleaui exchanged swings at each other and were both sin binned.
The Maroons then got some reprieve with a Josh Papalii try making it 28-10 with 17 minutes remaining.
But the relief didn’t last long as Addo-Carr scored his second soon after to cement the victory.
A penalty in the dying minutes made it 34-10, setting up a series decider at Suncorp Stadium next Wednesday night.
IMAGE: Fox Sports.