Queensland has blown New South Wales off the park in a dominant, devastating display to win State Of Origin 2 by a scoreline of 26-6.
The Maroons ran out on the field breathing fire and the Blues simply were not prepared for the onslaught of what can only be described as perfect football.
The Queensland pack completely monstered New South Wales with Sam Thaiday’s first three runs resulting in two half breaks and a try, all within the first few minutes of the match. New South Wales simply could not match the intensity of Queensland in the first 20 minutes. It saw Queensland jump out to a 14 point lead courtesy of two tries and a penalty kick.
Sam Thaiday and Corey Parker were outstanding during this stretch of the match. In contrast, Paul Gallen was quiet and Aaron Woods was dreadful. I said going into this game that Woods was soft. yes he gets through a lot of tackles, but they are all soft. In attack he offered no go forward what so ever. It wasn’t until he was replaced and Andrew Fifita came onto the field that New South Wales started to get some go forward.
As the first half reached its half way mark, the Blues started to get some possession, some go forward and started to look like they could make a match of this. They were not getting much out of dummy half or their halves, but the likes of Lewis, Bird and Watmough were causing problems for Queensland on the edges.
The kicking game didn’t help New South Wales though. In stark contract to the Queensland kicking game which saw them get repeat sets, Maloney and Pearce didn’t have a decent kick between them in the first half. It led to Robbie Farah eventually taking over the general kicking duties. His kicking wasn’t brilliant either, but it was better than the terrible effort Maloney and Pearce had come up with so far.
The first half finished with Queensland leading 14-0 but you got the feeling that if New South Wales could score early in the second half that the game would change completely. Unfortunately for Blues supporters, that just didn’t eventuate.
Darius Boyd scored his second try of the match in the 48th minute after the Maroons once against attacked Nathan Merritts side of the field. I was a big supporter of Merritts selection going into the Origin series but quite honestly, he was found out for being a defensive liability. He kept running in field, coming up with no one in defense and leaving a huge overlap out wide. The try by Boyd was a killer blow to New South Wales chances and it got worse from there…
At the 52nd minute of the match Billy Slater looked to elbow defense Mitchell Pearce in the side of the head. Pearce was lucky it was seen on the replay because he looked like he might have been in a bit of trouble otherwise. The trouble soon turned up though as Trent Merrit has a brain explosion and started pummeling Brent Tate for some unknown reason. The punches started flying and when it was all said and done, Merrin, Greg Bird, Justin Hodges and Brent Tate were all given ten minutes in the sin bin. Why Tate was sent I have no idea…he was the victim of an assault basically!
The fight fired Queensland up and they scored just a few minutes later through Greg Inglis. The try was scored in the 57th minutes but it effectively sealed the match for the Maroons.
New South Wales would score a consolation try in the 70th minute by Brett Morris was too little, too late.Jonathan Thurston would close out the scoring with a penalty goal at the siren as the Maroons won the match 26-6.
This game was a smash up. An ambush. You can have zero sympathy for New South Wales as they knew what was coming…and they simply were not ready for it!
Queensland were outstanding. This was a magnificent display of Rugby League by one of the great sides in Rugby League history. To single anyone out is tough but I thought Corey Parker, who I criticized after game one, was outstanding.
As for New South Wales, they need to make changes. Its as simple as that.
Their kicking game was dreadful. I can cop Maloney having a bad game, but I’m sick of Mitchell Pearce either playing an anonymous role or being completely out of his depth in any game that matters. The time has come for selectors to stop picking Pearce. He isn’t a bad player at club level, but he is never performed in a big match, either for the Sydney Roosters or the NSW Blues.
When Josh Reynolds was finally brought on, New South Wales looked like a different side. Reynolds showed the work the Blues were missing in the middle of the field, even though he was playing at dummy half!
I would be more than happy to see Pearce dropped for either Josh Reynolds or Todd Carney. I don’t care who they bring in, but Pearce has had his time for New South Wales and has been a colossal failure.
Nathan Merritt is unlikely to play State Of Origin again. He was appalling in defense. I’d also suggest that Aaron Woods won’t be seen again.
The Blues were forced into a few changes and at the end of the day, it really cost them. The players that came in just didn’t hit the level required.
The series is now level and we head back to Sydney for game three. Queensland look to have made the right changes to improve their lineup. I don’t see them making a single change for the third game.
New South Wales will get Hayne and Tamou back, but even so, they need a lot of improvement to win game three of this series.
As a New South Wales fan, it was a disappointing night. As a Rugby League fan, I can’t help but admire this Queensland team after watching that amazing performance at Lang Park.