Tough-talking Blues win in Sydney

New South Wales Blues players celebrate their win over the Maroons in game 2 of the 2012 State of Origin series.
New South Wales Blues players celebrate their win over the Maroons in game 2 of the 2012 State of Origin series. Getty Images

THEY talked it up off the field, and last night New South Wales backed that up at ANZ Stadium, sending Origin 2012 into a decider in Brisbane on July 4 after a 16-12 win against Queensland.

After trailing 6-4 at half-time, two tries in five minutes while Maroons half-back Cooper Cronk was in the sin bin gave the Blues the win they desperately needed.

Cronk had been sidelined after holding Todd Carney off the ball not long after the restart.

That added insult to injury with Corey Parker assisted off in the first minute after half-time with a serious leg gash.

Carney levelled the scores at 6-all from the resultant penalty, then from the re-start turned the game on its head by brushing past an attempted tackle from Harrison before finding Brett Stewart who scored under the posts to give New South Wales a six-point lead.

That quickly became 10 points as Brett Morris pounced on a loose ball in his own half to race away and give the Blues the chance to take the series at Suncorp Stadium.

The New South Wales players must have gone to the sheds at half-time wondering what they had to do to break Queensland's Origin stranglehold.

The Blues had seemed certain to lead at the main change after fullback Brett Stewart opened the scoring in the 26th minute.

Until that point the match had been played almost entirely between the two forward packs.

James Tamou, Paul Gallen and Greg Bird had been tireless for the home side, while Robbie Farah took his game to another level after proving his doubters wrong in Origin one.

Game one man-of-the-match Nate Myles was tireless for the Maroons while Matt Scott also threw himself into his work.

While he didn't enjoy the same freedom out of dummy half as he had in game one last month, Farah and Mitchell Pearce were still the architects of most of the Blues' attacking moves.

Farah backed that up with an incredible defensive effort, making almost a tackle a minute for the entire game, finishing with an incredible 66.

Queensland on the other hand seemed rattled by the venom in the Blues defence, struggling to mount any significant pressure in attack apart from a couple of line breaks from Cronk.

As well as struggling to gain territory, the Maroons also appeared to come out the worse for wear on the injury front with Brent Tate, Justin Hodges and Billy Slater all limping at times in the first half.

But in true Queensland spirit, all three stayed on the field and somehow the visitors found a way to score a try in the shadows of half-time.

Blues winger Akuila Uate was unwilling to make an attempt on a Cronk bomb, the Maroons regaining possession with Ashley Harrison finding Ben Hannant who scored under the posts to give Queensland an unlikely half-time lead.

The Maroons had a number of good chances to snatch the result after the Blues brace of tries, Greg Inglis putting them within touch after scoring in the corner in the 62nd minute.

Tate had the ball in his hands in the Blues in-goal 10 minutes later but Michael Jennings managed to knock it loose and save what would have been a disastrous loss for the home side.

Topics:  maroons, nsw blues, state of origin



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