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New South Wales Tie The Series With Emphatic 44-12 Victory Over Queensland

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New South Wales Tie The Series With Emphatic 44-12 Victory Over Queensland

The Blues have smashed the Maroons 44-12 in Game 2 of State of Origin, levelling the series and sending it to a decider in Brisbane.

NSW coach Brad Fittler's changes to the team seemed to work with the Blues putting on a dominant performance in Perth.

Jake Trbojevic was huge in his return to the Blues jersey, running for 138 metres and making 30 tackles.

Nathan Cleary was in top form too, grabbing two tries, two try assists and succeeding with all eight of his goal kicks - meaning he more than made up for his rather sub-par efforts in Game 1.

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As for debutant Matt Burton, he had a night to remember, that's for sure.

Not only did he cause havoc for the Queenslanders with his boot all night long, but he also bagged a try while also having a hand in another.

It looked like a completely different NSW side whose intensity from the the very first whistle was just too much for QLD.

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In vast contrast to the opening clash, this time round it was the Maroons who constantly seemed to be on the back foot and couldn't keep up with the sheer speed of the Blues.

NSW were making metres at will, while QLD just couldn't stem the flow when the points started to pour out.

The Blues opened the scoring in the 11th minute through a penalty goal from Nathan Cleary.

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QLD had the opportunity to hit back a few minutes later when Selwyn Cobbo chased after a Muster grubber into the in-goal but couldn't ground it.

The Maroons got it right in the 22nd minute when Kalyn Ponga passed to a barnstorming Felise Kaufusi to score.

The Blues stole the lead back in the 27th minute when Daly Cherry-Evans rushed up too early on Cleary, who saw a mile of open space in front of him, put in a little grubber for Burton to score on debut.

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The game of tennis continued in the 33rd minute, when Ponga made a break up the right-hand side, passed it off to QLD centre Valentine Holmes who passed it off to a flying Cameron Munster who scored the Maroons' second try of the night.

After a tonne of pressure, four back-to-back sets of six to be exact, QLD enforcer Kaufusi was sent to the sin bin - and the Blues took full advantage of their numerical advantage.

Fittler's men took the lead back in the final minutes of the first half when Burton got the ball to To'o to score in the corner.

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The Blues took to the sheds with a 14-12 lead and the see-saw match well and truly ended when play resumed, with NSW taking the game by the scruff of the next - it was one-way traffic heading towards the QLD tryline.

The onslaught began early on into the second half, with Daniel Tupou crossing over nine minutes in and Jarome Luai carving through shortly after.

The points just kept coming after Cleary reached out to cross in the 65th minute and backed it up what seemed like only moments later to give the Blues a commanding 26-point lead.

The QLD defence had no answers and the Blues were just way too strong.

With the game well and truly out of reach, Angus Crichton bagged another just for fun with seven minutes left on the clock to give the Blues a 44-12 victory.

With a decider now locked in, both teams will be pumped and ready for Game 3 in Brisbane on July 13th.


Match highlights and turning points

5th - Selwyn Cobbo almost scored first for the Maroons in the corner but was bulldozed over by To'o

9th - NSW captains challenge Liam Martin lose carry was successful after Felise Kaufusi strip. Very lucky.

10th - Cam Murray off for a HIA

11th Cleary penalty kick after Big Papa infringement. NSW 2-0

14th Mounting pressure from the NSW defence Qld were gifted a penalty out to the 20m area after NSW were called for holding on for too long. A little grubber from Munster on the last chased after by Cobbo but he bounced the ball in the in goal.

16th - NSW had a chance on the left-hand side when Luai made a bust but couldn't hold onto the ball

22nd Jurbo penalised for a dangerous tackle on Cobbo. Qld capitalised on the field position, Hunt, DCE, Ponga to a barnstorming Kaufusi to score.

27th - Blues hit back in the 27th minute when Cleary puts in a little grubber after DCE comes up too early, easily collected by Matt Burton who was in a mountain of space to score on debut. Cleary converts, 8-6.

30th - Lindsay Collins off for a HIA. Qld play the rest of the second half without him.

31st - Ponga makes a break up the right-hand side, gets though, passes it to Val who gets it off flying Munster for the Maroons second try of the night. Holmes converts, 12-8.

35th - Not long before half time, Cobbo dropped a Cleary bomb which saw NSW on the attack. After a scrum on their own 20m line, the Blues received back-to-back six agains in a row, on the last Murray caught it but Holmes gets penalised for blocking. Another lot of back-to-back sets to NSW sees Kaufusi get sent to the sin bin. At the same time Arrow is taken off for a HIA. It didn't take long for the Blues to take advantage of the one man overlap. Cleary, to Luai, to Burton out to To'o to score in the corner. Cleary converts from the sideline; Blues go to the halftime break leading 14-12.

41st minute - After a spiralling bomb from Burton, the Maroons were lucky to get a penalty for the Blues defenders being called offside.

44th - A dropped ball from the Maroons was pounced on by the Blues to get great field position. With the Maroon defensive line stretched, the Blues kept going left to right, but were lucky when a Stephen Crichton pass to Junior Paulo who would have strolled over to score was called forward.

45th - Kaufusi back on from the sin bin

50th - Taulagi drops a bomb on the 10th mertre line gifting the Bkues another set of six. In the second play the ball Cleary thows a cut out pass to Daniel Tupou on the wing to stroll over and score. Cleary converts to give the Blues a 20-12 lead.

55th - Cleary almost kicks a 40/20 but Cobbo gets in with mms to spare.

57th minute - Ponga fields a Cleary grubber in the in goal but is trapped by S Crichton for a goal like drop out. After some very soft defence from Jeremiah Nanai and Dane Gagai, Jarome Luai was able to dart from the 20m line to get the Blues fourth try of the night. Cleary converts, 26-12.

62nd - With the Blues edging closer to the Qld try line, Cleary challenges losing the ball in the play the ball. Replays show he loses it cold.

64th - After the Blues were very lucky to get away with a strip on Ben Hunt, a few play the balls later Cleary reaches out to score for the blues. Easily converts, to give the Blues a 20-point lead.

65th - Holmes attempts a short kick off that doesn't go the ten, giving the Blues perfect field position once again. Cleary made the Maroons pay, crossing moments after.

70th - Kalyn Ponga taken off for a HIA.

74th - Angus Crichton scores a late try to extend the lead out to 32 and lock up the second game.

80th - Blues win 44-12. We are off to a decider.

Featured Image Credit: Supplied

Topics: queensland, New South Wales, Rugby League, nrl, State of Origin, Australia

Danielle Smith
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