New South Wales took the State of Origin Series to a decider with victory over Queensland in Sydney on Wednesday
The Blues needed to win Game 2 to prevent Queensland from taking the Series and they did that with a strong showing from the forwards which laid the platform for the backs to take control.
Queensland took the lead inside two minutes thanks to a penalty from Johnathan Thurston after Tim Mannah was penalised for lying on in the tackle.
After going behind, the Blues were the better side and they had the chance to level it up after the Maroons were penalised at the play-the-ball. But Jamie Soward’s 37-metre penalty attempt struck the post and bounced back into the field of play.
After soaking up a lot of pressure, Queensland started to find their feet and launched a number of attacks on NSW’s line and they finally crossed the whitewash on 25 minutes when Cameron Smith darted over from acting-halfback for the game’s first try.
Thurston added the extras as Queensland led 8-0.
The Blues hit back almost straight away when substitute Luke Lewis collected a neat chip over from Mitchell Pearce to touch down in the corner, Soward made no mistake with the conversion as NSW trailed 8-6.
Both teams were awesome in defence and could have added more points in attack as Akuila Uate’s pass was put down in the act of scoring by Pearce, while Greg Inglis made a strong break before Thurston opted to kick on and Soward cleaned up at the back for NSW.
Queensland went into the sheds 8-6 to the good.
The Maroons had a great chance to extend their lead after the break when Billy Slater broke through, but in the end Queensland failed to capitalise.
Nineteen year-old winger William Hopoate on debut for the Blues produced an amazing try to put NSW in front for the first time, the kid collected the ball and managed to ground the ball in the corner despite the attentions of Slater to score, Soward added the extras as the Blues led 12-8.
Lewis produced a fantastic hit on Cooper Cronk to prevent the Maroons substitute from scoring a try after a great move involving Thurston, Darren Lockyer and Inglis, who was clearly struggling with an arm injury.
In Origin Game 1 the Blues led with 10 minutes to go before crashing to defeat, but they did not fall into the same trap this week as they crossed for their third try of the night when Anthony Minichiello burst through to score from Soward's neat pass, Soward's conversion made the final score 18-8 to the Blues.
The Series will now be decided in Brisbane next month with winner taking all.