Blue Murder in Sydney

The sell out crowd at ANZ Stadium for Origin II were treated to a very competitive match which levelled the series with the New South Wales Blues taking the game 18-8 to send the series into a third match decider in Brisbane on July 6.

Queensland got off to an early lead when they were gifted a penalty, whih amounted to an easy two points off the boot of Thurston, giving Queensland a 2 point lead at the 3 minute mark.
It took both sides time to kick into gear and penalties did not help momentum, they did give New South Wales an opportunity to level, when they opted to take the two off a penalty in the 14th minute, but Soward's boot deflected off the posts and the ball landed back in the possession of Queensland.

Queensland then ignited and took their opportunities to take the game to New South Wales. Cameron Smith with tremendous vision spotted a gap in the 25th minute and found his way in to get the point of the ball down.  Thurston added the extras and Queensland had an 8-nil lead.

New South Wales managed to gain momentum after they earned a 20 metre tap and took full advantage of it making wonderful yardage. Pearce put a boot into the corner and Luke Lewis plucked it from the air to dive over and score.  Soward added the extras to put the Blues within 2 of Queensland.

The Maroons ignited on the back of it and began to get creative but could not do enough to penetrate the New South Wales line.  Queensland eventually reached the interval with the 8-6 lead.

Queensland were sparked early in the half, but count not add to their total. In the forty ninth minute New South Wales debutant william Hopoate got the scoreboard ticking again with a wonderful effort touch te ball down in the corner. Soward slotted a perfect conversion from the sideline and the Blues had a four point lead.

Queensland tried desperately to reclaim the lead, but could not get the right play on.  The Blues defence was superb in keeping Queensland out and used the momentum of gallant try saving efforts to go on the attack to try to seal the game.

The New south Wales attack spent several minutes camped on the Queensland line.  In the end New South Wales were most helped by targetting Inglis in the air which in consecutive sets gave the Blues a scrum 10 out from the Queensland line before the Queensland found the right play to score the match winning points.

In the 77th minute the Blues put on a play off the back of the scrum to give Minichiello the match winning try in his return to origin.  Soward added the extras giving the Blues an 18-8 victory to level the series and give New South Wales the opportunity to win their first series since 2005.

Match Details

New South Wales 18 defeated Queensland 8
State of Origin - State of Origin II - Wednesday June 15, 2011 12:00am
Venue: ANZ Stadium
Referee: Shayne Hayne and Ben Cummins
Video Referee: Sean Hampstead and Russell Smith
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Daniel Eastwood
Crowd: 81,965
Halftime: New South Wales 6 Queensland 8 players of the match:
3 Points - Paul Gallen
2 Points - Luke Lewis (1 Try)
1 Point - William Hopoate (1 Try)

Tries: Luke Lewis, Anthony Minichiello, William Hopoate
Conversions: Jamie Soward (3/3)
Penalty Goals: Jamie Soward (0/1)

Tries: Cameron Smith
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1) Live Commentary Good Evening and a very warm welcome to a very cold and greasy ANZ Stadium for the only State of Orgin match for 2011 to be hosted by New South Wales. The Blues coming in looking to restore some pride in the Sky Blue jersey which hasn't tasted victory since 2009 and has not won a series since 2005. A win for the Maroons would give them an unprecedent sixth straight series win and leave the Blues with nothing left to play for but pride in game 3 of the series. New South Wales of course hoping to make game three the decider with a much needed win tonight.
Huge crowd here at ANZ Stadium with a massive sea of sky blue. No team news for either side, with both coaches sticking with the set ups chosen last week to start the match.
1 min: The whistle blows and Origin II is under way.
1 min: Not a strong opening set from the Blues and Queensland are allowed to bring the ball up ten shy of half way.
2 min: PENALTY to the Maroons, for New South Wales players hanging on too long in the ruck.
Thurston takes the penalty goal and gets Queensland off to an early 2 point lead.
Queensland 2-0
4 min: Queensland set almost mirroring the previous Blues set allowing Uate to bring the ball up 15 shy of halfway.
5 min: PENALTY to the Blues against Thaiday for holding down.
6 min: Soward kicks on the forth about 10 out and Slater cleans up easily.
7 min: Queensland defence doing well to keep New South Wales well inside their half and force the boot, 35 out from their line.
8 min: Smith's boot from dummy half straight into Minichiello's bread basket for an easy return.
9 min: PENALTY against Queensland for a steal.
10 min: Soward puts a little kick in the air, marked by Inglis in goal for a quick 20 metre tap.
11 min: Queensland doing well forcing the game deep into the New South Wales half.
12 min: Queensland set quite weak, not really taking it to the Blues yet.
13 min: PENALTY to the Blues, hands on the ball.
Jamie Soward goes for the penalty goal, not as easy boot, hits the post and deflects favourably for the Maroons.
15 min: Queensland starting to get creative on their right flank, try to put something on, Blues read it well.
15 min: Good kick from Soward, giving Queensland some work to do.
17 min: Hurried boot from Lockyer marked in goal by Minichiello for a 20 metre tap to the Blues.
18 min: Soward's long kicking game getting more effective as this game progresses.
20 min: Civinoceva is going down the tunnel.
20 min: PENALTY to Queensland for a high tackle from Ennis and Parker is on the ground. This penalty gives Queensland fantastic field position.
21 min: Fantastic take from Hopoate at the line, reading Lockyer's boot remarkably well.
22 min: Queensland defence very strong, making it difficult for the Blues to get out of their own territory and PEarce's boot does no favours for the men in blue either.
23 min: Boyd dabs a ball into the in goal and forces a repeat set as Ennis takes it over the dead ball line for a line drop out.
24 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible Queensland TRY.
26 min: TRY
TRY to the Maroons! Fantastic effort from Cameron Smith, spots a gap and takes full advantage to get the point of the ball down to score. Conversion frm Thurston successful.
Queensland 8-0
27 min: Queensland attack looking more interested coming off their line and Blues have an 8 point deficit to contend with.
28 min: Blues struggling to make ground now, but they are helped by Soward's boot. Queensland back line however doing a wonderful job reading it.
29 min: Thurston banana too deep and New South Wales get a 20 metre tap.
30 min: Wonderful go forward from New South Wales this set making wonderful yardage.
30 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible New South Wales TRY.
31 min: TRY
TRY to the Blues! Pearce puts a kick into the corner, a wonderful leap from Luke Lewis plucks it from the air and dives over to score the Blues' first points of the night. Soward converts.
Queensland 8-6
32 min: Gidley assists Uate in making a break, but Uate puts a chip in which is too big and goes out on the fly. Blues with plenty of momentum now.
33 min: Queensland making yardage with ease but the Blues are looking very enthusiastic.
34 min: Great boot from Soward finds grass and puts pressure on the Queensland backs.
35 min: Queensland really struggled making yards in that set but Lockyer puts a wonderful boot in to find touch about 30 out from the Blues' line.
37 min: First error of the night. Thaiday going for an intercept knocks the ball forward, New South Wales scrum 40 out from the Queensland line.
38 min: Good ball movement from the Blues on the Queensland line, very close to getting full rewards, but they can't handle it and Queensland get a 20 metre restart.
39 min: Half break from Inglis, gets it onto Thurston who puts a deft little kick which challenges Soward in goal and forces the line drop out/
40 min: The Blues eat up as much time as they can getting to the drop out, allowing Queensland only 15 seconds to attack the New South Wales line.
40 min: Thaiday puts in a little boot, and Minichiello cleans up to take us into the interval with Queensland ahead 8 points to 6.
41 min: The second half is kicked into play by Hayne.
41 min: PENALTY to Queensland for Blues hanging around too long in the tackle.
42 min: Slater makes a big break through the New South Wales line, but he has no one in support.
42 min: The set comes to nothing as the ball finds ground and New South Wales claim it.
43 min: Maroons appear to have been ignited during the interval coming out explosively in attack and defence.
43 min: Maroons appear to have been ignited during the interval coming out explosively in attack and defence.
44 min: PENALTY to the Blues for a high tackle against Hannant.
45 min: Strong set with some great ball play from the Blues but a bad ball from Pearce is knocked on by Lewis.
46 min: Forward pass from Harrison gifts New South Wales a scrum 40 out from the Queensland line.
47 min: Great kick along the ground from Soward forces Slater to play it dead for a repeat set to the Blues, forcin Queensland to kick their first line drop out of the night.
49 min: VIDEO REFEREE for a possible New South Wales TRY.
51 min: TRY
TRY to the Blues! Wonderful effort from debutant William Hopoate to score in the corner. Perfect kick from Soward from the sideline to add the extras.
New South Wales 12-8
52 min: Great set from the Blues on the back of the try, wonderful go forward now and the lead they have picked up has given them plenty of momentum.
53 min: Queensland starting to falter, Lockyer finds touch with the boot to give them a reprieve.
54 min: New South Wales with some control of the game.
55 min: Queensland make a big break on the left flank, but Thurston can't handle the ball he receives from Boyd and is ruled to have knocked on.
56 min: Slater fumbles it in the air and New South Wales have a scrum 20 out from the Queensland line.
58 min: Watmough almost scores but is stopped by a wonderful try saving tackle from Slater and Civonociva loses control trying to play it to let Queensland off the hook.
59 min: Queensland do well to get the game back deep in New South Wales territory.
60 min: The game is being moved from end to end now and getting very competitive.
61 min: Hopoate is off the field and looks to be in some discomfort.
63 min: Amazing aerial take from Billy Slater, but New South Wales are looking on top at the moment.
65 min: Gasnier almost makes a break down the right flank, but he is stopped by a wonderful effort from Smith and then loses the ball.
66 min: Thaiday knocks the ball on to gift the Blues a scrum.
68 min: Lovely play from Lockyer, but a fantastic try saving tackle from Luke Lewis on Cooper Cronk denies Queensland points. Inglis is having trouble with his arm in back play.
71 min: PENALTY to Queensland. Huge one 10 metres out from the New South Wales line for interference on Slater in the chase for a Lockyer bomb.
72 min: Queensland squander a wonderful opportunity losing the ball at the line.
73 min: PENALTY to the Blues to give them a wonderful opportunity to wrap up the game.
74 min: Inglis takes a wonderful take in the air, but follows it up with a big error gifting New South Wales a scrum 10 out from the Queensland line.
76 min: Inglis knocks on again in his attempt to clean up, giving the Blues another scrum 10 out from the Queensland line.
78 min: TRY
TRY to the Blues! Pearce off the back of the scrum, throws a long pass to Soward who breaks through before getting it on to Minichiello to score in his return to origin. Soward converts and that should be enough to give New South Wales the game.
New South Wales 18-8
80 min: There's the siren and New South Wales have won the match 18-8.

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