Boyd Cordner has been retained as captain in a Kangaroos merit team that features emerging NRL premiership-winning stars Tino Fa’asumaleaui and Ryan Papenhuyzen.
New South Wales are under siege early in Origin 3, and the mountain has just got that much harder to climb with five-eighth James Maloney sin-binned for a professional foul.
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The Blues had been on the back foot for the entire first half, forced to take a whopping five line dropouts with barely half an hour gone.
Billy Slater had looked to put Queensland on the board earlier in the game, only to have his aerial effort disallowed by the bunker for a midair knock-on.
Valentine Holmes did put the Maroons on the board, although ironically it came from the Blues’ best-attacking chance of the night. His 90-metre intercept put the Maroons up 6-0, but they might’ve been able to increase their lead soon after.
A kick towards the in-goal area took a strange bounce, but Slater found himself taken out of the contest by a Maloney shepherd. The video ref didn’t award a penalty try, but the subsequent sin bin saw the Maroons take the penalty goal and go 8-0 up.