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New South Wales
New South Wales
The NSW Blues have won Origin 2 by 34 points to 10, forcing a series decider next week in Brisbane.
NSW Blues 34
Queensland Maroons 10
The Queensland Maroons will be out to complete the biggest State of Origin upset in decades against the New South Wales Blues when Game 2 of the series moves to Homebush. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of the match from 8:10pm (AEDT).
The Blues, who came into the 2020 series on the back of two in a row, were red-hot favourites, and it all looked to be going according to plan when they led 10-0 in the opener.
But from there, it all went pear-shaped as Wayne Bennett got his Maroons back on track and they put the foot down to run away with the game.
Their forwards led the way, allowing the Queenslanders to play a direct style of footy which Brad Fittler’s side struggled to contend with, while Daly Cherry-Evans, who wound up with the man of the match award, was excellent with his kicking game.
The Maroons do lose one of their stars in AJ Brimson, who is out with injury. Christian Welch also misses this game, but with Valentine Holmes back from suspension and Dunamis Lui coming into the starting 13, the men from north of the border have more than capable replacements.
New South Wales have made six changes for Origin 2, and yet didn’t address the major problem area that was their leaky centre combination of Jack Wighton and Clint Gutherson, who are both playing out of position.
The Blues have dropped Luke Keary, bringing Cody Walker into the halves in the hopes that the ball-running option will better define Nathan Cleary’s role, while Payne Haas comes into the starting side.
With Cameron Murray and captain Boyd Cordner both out injured, it paves the way for Nathan Brown and Isaah Yeo to join the side on debut, while Dale Finucane has also been added to the bench.
The changes may allow the Blues to start better thanks to Haas, and play more direct thanks to the no-nonsense attitude of Brown and Finucane on the bench, but the trio in the middle third will all need mammoth games.
It’s what the Maroons did so well in the opener in turning around a deficit, and without the x-factor their opponents had, they can again be expected to turn up for each other in defence, stay patient and take their opportunities when it comes.
A little less rust across the paddock could create a more open, free-flowing game in the second of the series, but that may well only play into Ben Hunt’s hands, who in a running role was fantastic during the opener.
The Maroons may not, on paper at least, have the firepower to match the Blues in the middle third, but players like Hunt, Cameron Munster and Holmes could make all the difference if they are to pull off a series win with a game to spare.
The Blues bringing Haas into the starting side and beefing up the bench should do the trick on home soil. If the centres hold, we will have a decider in Brisbane next week.
Blues by 6.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Game 2 from 8:10pm (AEDT) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.
Kick-off: 8:10pm (AEST)
Venue: ANZ Stadium, Sydney
TV: Live, Channel Nine
Online: Live, 9Now
Overall record: Played 118, Queensland 63, New South Wales 53, drawn 2
Record at ANZ Stadium: Played 28, Blues 18, Maroons 9, drawn 1
Referee: Gerard Sutton
1. James Tedesco, 2. Daniel Tupou, 3. Clint Gutherson, 4. Jack Wighton, 5. Josh Addo-Carr, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Nathan Cleary, 8. Daniel Saifiti, 9. Damien Cook, 10. Payne Haas, 11. Angus Crichton, (c), 12. Tyson Frizell, 13. Jake Trbojevic
Bench: 14. Dale Finucane, 15. Junior Paulo, 16. Nathan Brown, 17. Isaah Yeo
1. Valentine Holmes, 2. Xavier Coates, 3. Kurt Capewell, 4. Dane Gagai, 5. Phillip Sami, 6. Cameron Munster, 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c), 8. Dunamis Lui, 9. Jake Friend, 10. Josh Papalii, 11. Felise Kaufusi, 12. Jaydn Su’A, 13. Tino Faasuamaleaui
Bench: 14. Ben Hunt, 15. Lindsay Collins, 16. Jai Arrow, 17. Moeaki Fotuaika