Maroons Smash Blues to Seal Origin Series
Greg Inglis has helped his Maroons to notch-up a 52-6 victory to re-take the Origin trophy, Inglis scoring a try during a dominant performance.
Johnathan Thurston was in stellar form with the boot – the five-eighth kicking a staggering nine goals from nine attempts, while Justin Hodges – playing in his last game – kicked the final goal of the Series.
Four repeat sets to the Blues inside the first five minutes on the back of errors and penalties, saw Trent Hodkinson eventually seize the opportunity to take a gift two points from right in front to give New South Wales an early 2-0 lead.
The advantage lasted just two minutes however, with a penalty against the Blues in similar circumstances saw Johnathan Thurston draw level with a penalty-goal of his own to make it two apiece.
The Maroons asserted their authority not long afterwards when Dane Gagai finished off a back-line movement that saw Blues defenders rushing in off their line – the debutant sliding in millimetres in from touch. Thurston added the extras by bending the ball through the sticks to make it 8-2.
Inglis then showed amazing athleticism – the likes of which he showed in the Centenary Test in 2008 – to keep a grubber-kick in the field of play when it was over the dead ball line but in the air.
The Inglis moment would set up the Queenslanders for an extended period of sustained attack on the Blues line, and it would eventually pay dividends. Josh Papalii would steam onto a short ball from Johnathan Thurston to burst through the narrowest of gaps to score. Thurston again converted to make it 14-2.
New South Wales’ woes continued when Beau Scott was penalised for continuing a tackle on Cameron Smith after the hooker had kicked down-field. The penalty was given where the ball land – right in front of the posts – and Thurston took the opportunity to kick his team further ahead to the tune of 16-2.
Frustration began to creep into the Blues side, and it was evident when Trent Merrin was placed on report for dumping a Queensland player. The penalty would soon price costly when five minutes from half-time, Greg Inglis injected himself into the back-line to score – capping the four-pointer off with an ‘Origin’ Goanna to put him even further ahead on the all-time Origin try-scorer list. Thurston converted to make the score 22-2 leading into the break.
It didn’t take long for the Maroons to assert their authority in the second half after a David Klemmer mistake gifted Queensland field-position. A few tackles later, Justin Hodges – playing in his last Origin game – did an Inglis by batting a ball back over the dead-ball line to allow Matt Gillett to score. Thurston was having a brilliant night with the boot – the playmaker kicking the conversion to make it 28-2.
Michael Morgan extended the lead of the Queenslanders in his third ever Origin match when he took a ball back on the inside to score. Thurston made it seven from seven to make it 34-2.
Tempers again began to flare with some 25 minutes left to go, and when James Tamou stiff-armed a Queenslander, match officials warned both Captains.
Darius Boyd extended the pain of the Blues when he ran outside his opposite before streaking through to score. Johnathan Thurston made it two records on the night – firstly by breaking Mal Meninga’s interstate point-scoring record, before also breaking the record for most goals in an Origin match to make it an incredible 40-2.
Finally, a wayward pass from Queensland deep in enemy territory saw Michael Jennings swoop on the pill before streaking away to score the Blues’ first try of the match to make it 40-6.
Will Chambers added his name to the score-card out wide by overpowering the Blues defence. Thurston made it nine from nine to make it 46-6 – a record score for the Queenslanders.
Aidan Guerra raised the half-century when he took a ball from Inglis at dummy-half to blow the score out amid scenes of euphoria from the Queenslanders. Justin Hodges fittingly kicked the final goal of the game to take the score to 52-6 to reclaim the shield.
QLD 52 (Dane Gagai, Josh Papalii, Greg Inglis, Matt Gillett, Michael Morgan, Darius Boyd, Will Chambers, Aidan Guerra, tries; Johnathan Thurston 9, Justin Hodges 1, goals)
NSW 6 (Michael Jennings, tries; Trent Hodkinson 1 goal)
John Olive’s Blues Defeat QLD in Origin II Curtan-Raiser
By Joel Moss – NSWRL.com.au
NSW remain undefeated in the Under-20s clash against their Queensland counterparts, winning their fourth consecutive title in the curtain-raiser to State of Origin at Suncorp Stadium.
Gold Coast Titans winger Brian Kelly claimed a sensational four-try performance for NSW in their dominant 32-16 victory.
NSW took a 12-4 half-time lead with Kelly earning his first two tries before the break while preventing Queensland's first try with a brilliant try-saving tackle.
NSW seized an early 12-0 lead after just 15 minutes. Both of Kelly's tries came in similar fashion with the play shifting right to left before crossing.
Desperation defense by NSW denied Queensland several tries before they crossed with a spectacular effort five minutes from half-time. A fifth-tackle kick from inside their own half richocheted off NSW to land back in the hands of Queensland who kicked cros- field 40 metres out for Gideon Gela-Mosby to score.
Queensland opened the second-half scores to cut the deficit to 12-10 with 30 minutes remaining in the contest.
However, it was all NSW from there as Latrell Mitchell split two defenders to speed down the left sideline for a 16-10 lead before Kelly scored his next two tries to put the game out of reach for Queensland who trailed 32-10 with eight minutes to go.
Kelly completed his hat-trick with a sensational one-handed leap for the tryline before Kelly found space down after a swift sleight of hands to put Jackson Hastings over for a commanding 26-10 lead.
Kelly landed his fourth try in the dying minutes followed by Queensland scoring a consolation try.