By Michael Luxford
Heading into a decider in front of a packed Suncorp Stadium, New South Wales were going to have to be at their best if they intended on coming away as Origin champions.
The match started in typical Origin fashion, with both teams taking the two points on offer after receiving penalties close to the line. NSW took a two point lead after just five minutes, when Trent Hodkinson kicked a penalty goal from close in front. Some lazy work around the ruck allowed Jonathan Thurston to level the scores after Queensland were awarded a penalty also opting to take the penalty goal.
This would be the closest that NSW would get as Queensland mounted an onslaught. In his debut match Dane Gagai crossed for the first try of the match, after some second phase plays and a long pass from Corey Parker presented him with an open line.
Josh Papalii was the next to cross for the home side. Snubbed for the first two matches Papalii was bought into add some much needed size, and the bulking back rower did just that. Queensland rolled down field and a short ball from Thurston allowed Papalii to go through almost untouched.
Queensland would go into the break leading 22-2 after Greg Inglis crossed the line late in the half. This try also gave Inglis the record of most Origin tries, he has now scored 17 in 27 matches for Queensland.
Coming out after half time there was a suggestion that this game was there for Queensland to lose. However, an error by David Klemmer on his first touch of the second half all but sealed NSW’s fate. NSW defended their line, keeping Queensland out until Cooper Cronk put a kick through on the last tackle. Justin Hodges beat the out of position Josh Dugan to bat the ball back to Matt Gillet, giving Queensland their fourth try of the match.
Queensland would continue their dominance of the match. Michael Morgan scored in the 50th minute from a simple inside ball from backrower Aidan Guerra. Morgan would repay the favour, this time by throwing a cut out ball to an unmarked Darius Boyd.
At 40-2 with twenty minutes remaining it looked as though NSW were going to go try-less in this encounter, until a lose pass from Matt Gillett was swooped upon by Michael Jennings who ran 60 meters against the run of play, for the Blues’ first and only try of the match. Two late tries to Will Chamber and Guerra saw Queensland break records for biggest winning margin and most points by a Queensland side, defeating NSW 52-6
Corey Parker received the Wally Lewis Medal for Play of the Series. The ball playing lock was instrumental in Queensland’s victory last night running for 145 metres, making 25 tackles with four offloads.
|QUEENSLAND 52||NSW 6|
|Tries:- Dane Gagai (14th minute)
– Josh Papalii (26th minute)
– Greg Inglis (34th minute)
– Matt Gillett (41st minute)
– Michael Morgan (49th minute)
– Darius Boyd (56th minute)
– Will Chamber (67th minute)
– Aidan Guerra (77th minute)
– Jonathan Thurston 10/10
|Tries:- Michael Jennings (60th minute)
– Trent Hodkinson 1/2
Image courtesy of Wikipedia Commons