Ricky feels the love as Blues win narrowly
Ricky Stuart’s days of hating may soon be over. The feisty NSW coach, who hates losing with a four-letter-word ferocity, proudly watched his Blues square rugby league’s State of Origin series with a stirring 16-12 win over Queensland on Wednesday night.
The determined victory, before 83,110 people at ANZ Stadium – mostly Blues fans baying for Maroon blood – sets up a tantalising series decider in Brisbane in three weeks.
After trailing 6-4 at halftime, the Blues powered out to score two converted tries in the first eight minutes of the second half.
Star fullback Brett Stewart got his second before Josh Morris crossed the line after brilliant breaks by Todd Carney and Jarryd Hayne respectively.
Both tries came while Queenslander Cooper Cronk was cooling his heels in the sin bin for illegally impeding Carney in the in-goal area.
Queensland hit back with a try to Origin record-holder Greg Inglis, the 14th of his career, and when Johnathan Thurston converted there was only four points in it.
But the Blues held on gamely, and may have Michael Jennings to thank for knocking the ball from Brent Tate’s hands late in the game when a game-changing try seemed certain.
Ricky Stuart will not get too carried away. His men did the same thing in Sydney last year, levelling the contest only to lose the third game – and the series for a sixth straight year.
But at least they have kept this one alive, denying Queensland coach Mal Meninga the keys to Origin’s seventh heaven, at least for now.© AAP 2013
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