Racial slurs inspire Maroons to big win
NSW have only their former assistant coach Andrew Johns to thank. After a tirade of racial slurs resulted in one of the most controversial lead ups to a State of Origin match in the series’ 30 year history, Queensland’s Indigenous and Polynesian players stepped up and belted their opponents off the park.
It took only three minutes for Johnathan Thurston to put Greg Inglis over for the first try of the match, in what would have been a worse case scenario for the bookies’ “first try scorer” field.
Just eight minutes later, Israel Folau, who was another NSW target in the game’s much hyped build up, silenced his selection critics by scoring Queensland’s second try.
It was a benchmark that Inglis and Folau set for the rest of the night as the Maroons soared to a 34-6 victory.
On countless occasions Folau leapt up to disarm and attack bombs, highlighting just why the AFL is paying $6 million to lure him over to their code.
With the game still in the balance just minutes before half-time, Inglis once again proved the game breaker, drawing two defenders and putting an unmarked Darius Boyd to score untouched down the line.
Just eight minutes after the break and four minutes after a Willie Tonga try, Folau put the game out of the Blues’ reach, receiving a double cut out ball from Lockyer and scoring in the corner.
However a clearly pumped up Inglis wasn’t finished with NSW and continued to physically impose himself over his opponents all night, which came to a head in the 58th minute when he was involved in a punch up with Beau Scott – possibly his first ever biff in the professional football arena.
It was an aggression that was mirrored across the whole Queensland team – Indigenous and non-Indigenous players alike – who were no doubt fuelled by a ravenous 52,000 strong Maroon crowd.
However coach Craig Bellamy avoided using the racism saga as an excuse, rather blaming brief lapses in defence and attack for the score blow-out.
“I’d love to use the Timana/Joey thing as an excuse, but I really don’t think we can,” he said.
“We had back to back errors, and you can’t do that against them.”© AAP 2013