PANTHER PRIDE | A big win for the mountain men tonight has them firmly entrenched in the top eight, ...
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FITTINGLY it was Jarryd Hayne who ended up with the ball in his hands as the siren sounded.
The Blues fullback then proceeded to run 30 metres over the dead-ball line at the northern end of ANZ Stadium before launching himself into a sea of delirious Blatchy's Blues to seal a memorable 6-4, and series, win.
He fought back tears when interviewed by Andrew Johns on Channel Nine after the game.
"It's been a long time - oh it's been a long time," he said.
"We fought hard. We've come so close so many times and we had to go to another level. We deed up and deed up and deed up and that's what Origin's about."
The drought was over. It might have taken 87 players and eight years, but it was over.
For years Queensland has been the team to grab victory from the jaws of defeat, but this time it was different.
After full-time Paul Gallen and Laurie Daley made a bee-line for each other.
After eight long years the maroon dominance in State of Origin is over and ironically it took a former Queensland resident to come up with the clutch play.
For 71 minutes New South Wales offered very little in attack and Queensland had all the field position aided by a spoiling game plan.
But with the clock winding down it was a simple show-and-go which unlocked a Queensland defence that appeared to be climbing back into the series as it's often done before.
On the back of four successive sets of six inside the Queensland line it took its toll and the Canterbury halfback sliced through to send the crowd of 83,421 into raptures.
The first one there to congratulate him? Bulldogs teammate Josh Reynolds.
Tonight NSW found a way to win. It wasn't pretty, but they got the job done.
Emotions overcame all of the 17 Blues players who trotted out at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday June 18.
Coach Laurie Daley was hoarse when Johns interviewed him.
But arguably the most emotional of the night was hooker Robbie Farah who tackled himself to a standstill with in excess of 50 tackles.
"I've never wanted anything more in my life," he said.
"I'm sure my mum has a big smile on her face watching down on us tonight.
"We're a tough footy side and we hung in there and kept banging on that door. We haven't been far off, they're not a better side and we showed that tonight."
Queensland fullback Billy Slater was gracious in defeat saying his side didn't take their opportunities when they presented themselves.
"Our defence was tremendous, we got over the line a few times but full credit to New South Wales. It wasn't our night and they defended good on both edges. We hoped to create opportunities, but we didn't capitalise on them."
The Blues will celebrate for a long time to come and will aim for a clean sweep in three weeks at Suncorp.
QUEENSLAND MAROONS (4)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (2/2)
Good evening footy fans and welcome to ANZ Stadium for tonight's crucial game two encounter between the Blues and Maroons. The Blues are fresh from a nailbiting 12-8 victory at Suncorp three weeks ago and would no doubt fancy their chances of ending Queensland's eight-year dominance.
TEAM NEWS: Queensland will take the field 1-17 as named last week which means Daly Cherry-Evans will take his place at halfback. Ben Hunt, Anthony Milford and Willie Tonga drop off the 21-man squad with Ben Hunt to warm up as 18th man to cover any last-minute emergencies.
LATE MAIL: NSW Blues will be unchanged tonight and hunt for their first series win in 8 years, 1-17.
Queensland has registered the first win of the night and have won the toss. They will defend the northern end of ANZ Stadium in the first half.
Fulltime in the under 18s curtain-raiser and the Blues have registered a 24-10 win to claim the first success on the field of play. Kickoff in the main one a little under an hour away!
Queensland enter ANZ Stadium led out by Cameron Smith to a deafening chorus of boos.
The "New South Wales" chant reverberates around ANZ Stadium as they await to welcome their heroes in their quest to end the Queensland dominance.
The Blues are led out by Paul Gallen and greeted by 84,000 fans to an incredible roar as they go through a guard of honour formed by the 1985 members.
We will now pause for the national anthem of Australia.
The stage is set.
1: Cameron Smith gets us underway!
1: Mistake free from the Blues first up. Reynolds with the kick.
2: PENALTY Qld. Farah ruled to have stolen the ball off Smith after held was called.
3: Dugan races up and puts Inglis on his backside.
3: Terrible kick from Thurston goes across field and Hoffman claims possession for the Blues.
4: It's taken four minutes but the first New South Wales chant goes up around ANZ.
4: Thurston goes to the air and Hayne comes up with a good catch on his own 20m line.
5: PENALTY Blues. Two men in the tackle and the Maroons are ruled offside. First chance on the attack for the Blues here.
5: Hodkinson finds touch 15 out from the Maroons line.
7: Reynolds chips to the posts and the ball goes dead under a mass of players. Qld 20m restart.
8: Smith kicks to the corner and Hayne is tackled 10 from his own line.
9: Slater slow to his feet after being hit in a solid tackle from Gallen and Woods.
10: Push and shove from the boys after Inglis skipped clear of the Dugan tackle. Play on.
10: Great goal line defence from Scott with the help of Reynolds pulls Smith down short of the line.
10: The boys are getting a bit testy after Thurston slapped Scott from second marker.
10: PENALTY Blues. Thurston penalied for the unnecessary slap.
10: Gallen is ruled to have lost the ball in a four-man Queensland tackle. The crowd aren't happy about it but Gallen needs to hang onto the ball a bit better.
12: Cherry-Evans is hit in a solid tackle from Farah but he manages to somehow get the pass away.
12: PENALTY Maroons. Bird ruled to have interfered with the play-the-ball.
14: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Thurston posts first points of the night by piloting the ball between the posts at the southern end of the ground.
17: Queensland continue to win the field position battle as they again go over halfway.
18: PENALTY Blues. Hand on the ball.
19: PENALTY Blues. Another hand on the ball from the Maroons. Blues on the attack.
19: Farah passes to Hayne who puts the ball down. In back play Gallen remonstrates with Reynolds after the quick tap was taken. The skipper wanted to take the two.
22: Farah jumps out of dummy half and plugs a kick into the corner. It finds touch 5m from the Queensland line.
24: Thurston gets a kick away under heavy pressure from Reynolds.
25: Hodkinson puts a kick into the corner despite pressure from Te'o. Queensland scrum.
27: PENALTY Blues. Queensland coming up with the feet through Smith.
27: Gallen offloads into the arms of Thurston who races up field.
28: The natives again get a bit restless. Interesting replay ahead.
28: PENALTY Queensland. Tamou ruled to have come down with a forearm on Myles.
28: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.
Thurston extends the lead out to four with a 20m shot at goal.
33: PENALTY Blues. Slater slows the play the ball down off Hayne.
34: The Blues shift the ball to their right but run out of room as Hopoate is bundled into touch. Queensland scrum.
35: Ball lost in the play-the-ball from Hodges. Blues scrum.
37: Farah jumps out of dummy half and kicks for Tupou who didn't know the kick was coming. Qld 20m restart.
39: Hodkinson's kick trickles dead. Qld 20m restart.
39: Cherry-Evans comes out of dummy half and kicks in behind the defence after Hayne was stuck at marker. Reynolds wins the chase to kick the ball dead.
40: Halftime at ANZ and Queensland lead the Blues 4-0 in a tryless opening half.
40: Cameron Smith and Qld back out onto ANZ for the second stanza
40: And Paul Gallen leads the Blues back out onto what they hope to be their field of dreams. They're 40 minutes away from their first win in eight years.
40: Second half underway!
40: PENALTY Queensland. Guerra gets himself into a dangerous position.
42: Thurston grubbers into the in-goal and Hodkinson is claimed. NSW dropout.
43: Gillett turns the ball back inside for Slater who puts it down.
44: Farah kicks out of dummy half and leads the chase to cut Boyd down.
44: Tate loses the ball. Blues on the attack.
45: Farah goes with the runaround and Scott comes up with the error.
47: Hodkinson kicks for Tupou who puts his boot to the ball but Slater picks up possession 30m from his own line.
51: Reynolds has the ball stolen in what looked to be a two-man tackle. Play on.
52: VIDEO REFEREE: Possible Queensland try.
52: Jarryd Hayne has remarkably saved the day for the Blues when Thaiday appeared certain to score.
53: Reynolds goes to the air and Slater comes up with a fantastic catch.
54: Reynolds passes to no one and McQueen wins the race to the ball for Qld.
55: Reynolds jumps out of dummy half and he had Thurston who managed to squeeze a pass out. Cherry-Evans kicked to Tate who rolled him over to defuse the situation.
56: Big trouble for Brent Tate here who appears to have suffered a lower leg injury. Time called off.
57: Tate helped from the field as Hopoate claims possession for the Blues.
59: Myles passes to Gillett who puts the ball down. Blues scrum on halfway.
59: Cam Smith forces the ball free and Queensland go back on the attack.
60: Quick hands from DCE to Hodges and McQueen puts the ball down with the line looming. Blues scrum 10m from their own line.
61: Lewis puts the ball down.
62: Queensland error and the Blues with the ball near halfway.
64: Hodkinson goes to the air but Thurston comes up with the ball.
66: Taylor throws the ball to no one which was intended for McQueen. Massive chance for the Blues here.
67: Six more for the Blues.
67: Trysaver from Slater!
67: PENALTY Blues. Queensland don't release the tackled player.
69: Fantastic tackle from Jennings to force Hodges in-goal. Queensland dropout.
71: Jennings gets around his man and Hodges gets a hand to the ball to defuse the situation. Blues with six again.
73: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES
Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.
Hodkinson puts the Blues in front!
73: PENALTY Blues. The Maroons have put the ball out on the full from the kickoff!
74: Did he or didn't he touch it? Controversy at ANZ!
75: Hayne kicks ahead and reclaims possession. He's tackled 3m from the Qld line. Changeover.
76: Knock on from Hodges and the Blues will pack a scrum. Under five to go.
77: Hoffman tries to dive over from dummy half and he's tackled 1m from the line.
78: Inglis looks to find Slater on the inside but he can't find him and Reynolds has the ball.
79: PENALTY Blues after Thurston and Reynolds "clash heads"
80: Fulltime at ANZ and the Blues have run out victors 6-4 over Queensland.