The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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However that was far from the worst of a horror first quarter for the home side: Israel Folau side-stepped through a lazy defensive line at a canter and cruised in to extend Queensland's lead in the 17th minute. Seven minutes later Darren Lockyer caused further embarrassment, scooping up a loose pass in front of the Blues line and dotting down to make it 18-0.
Jarryd Hayne was the main instigator of a second quarter turnaround for the Blues. He snatched a skilful intercept from a Billy Slater cutout pass and sprinted 90 metres to get New South Wales back in the game after 28 minutes. Then just before halftime he was in again, this time burrowing over in the corner from dummy half to make it 18-10 at the break.
Twice in close succession players faced off, first Luke O'Donnell and Ben Hannant tussled after Hannant seemed to kick O'Donnell's knee. Next in the ring were Michael Crocker and Justin Poore, this time trading some solid right haymakers before being broken up. In between these two incidents Queensland was bizarrely denied what looked like a certain try to Ashley Harrison, Harrigan and Mander finding something awry and pressing the red button.
Queensland lost Greg Inglis early on, he was hit high by Trent Barrett and suffered a concussion as well as a possible broken jaw. Barrett was placed on report for the shot. The second half saw more Maroons troops steadily fall away - most notably Sam Thaiday with a cork and Ashley Harrison with ribs trouble.
It took until the 62nd minute for the Blues to reap any benefits from the numbers advantage. David Williams went some way to redeeming himself for some costly handling errors, diving over in the right corner after some inspiring leadup work from Trent Barrett.
It appeared inevitable that New South Wales would score again, but they could not find a way over the line, nervously botching several golden attacking chances through poor decisions.
The score remained at 18-14 until Cameron Smith's last-minute try. Smith pounced on a loose ball after Luke O'Donnell desperately gave it up on the try-line, diving over and setting off scenes of jubilation around ANZ Stadium and indeed the country.
Johnathan Thurston was outstanding for Queensland, making crucial plays in both attack and defense. Smith was also very impressive throughout the match, making 40 tackles. For the Blues Jarryd Hayne was the standout performer, sparking his team back into the game and running confidently with the ball.
Once more, as in game one, it was a 20 minute New South Wales meltdown that virtually decided the result. When they fought their way back into the match it was already too late. The 2009 Queensland team further staked their claim on the title of the best Maroons side ever, holding on gallantly to win the match and the series, a record fourth in a row.
Queensland 24 def New South Wales 14
State of Origin 2 - Wednesday June 24th, 2009 08:00pm Venue: ANZ Stadium, Homebush Bay Referee: Tony Archer & Shayne Hayne
Sideline Officials: Russell Turner & Paul Holland
Video Referees: Bill Harrigan & Tim Mander Crowd: 80,459 Halftime: NSW 10 QLD 18
Don't miss Paul Jobber's Game Two Preview - a must read before the game. State of Origin II Preview - click here!
NEW SOUTH WALES: 1. Kurt Gidley (c) 2. Jarryd Hayne 3. Joel Monaghan 4. Jamie Lyon 5. David Williams 6. Trent Barrett 7. Peter Wallace 8. Brent Kite 9. Robbie Farah 10. Michael Weyman 11. Ben Creagh 12. Luke O'Donnell 13. Paul Gallen Interchange: 15. Justin Poore 16. Glenn Stewart 17. Anthony Watmough 19. Josh Morris QUEENSLAND: 1. Billy Slater 2. Darius Boyd 3. Greg Inglis 4. Willie Tonga 5. Israel Folau 6. Darren Lockyer (c) 7. Johnathan Thurston 8. Steve Price 9. Cameron Smith 10. Petero Civoniceva 11. Ashley Harrison 12. Sam Thaiday 13. Dallas Johnson Interchange: 14. Karmichael Hunt 15. Ben Hannant 16. Nate Myles 17. Michael Crocker
League Unlimited Poll: NSW 40% QLD 60%
TAB Sportsbet Odds: NSW $2.10 QLD $1.72
Welcome to tonight's live coverage of SOO II. Queensland looking to seal a record-breaking fourth consecutive series win, New South Wales trying their darndest to prevent the celebrations and tie the series.
We've got Grinspoon warming up the Homebush crowd with "Champion" as the teams make their way from the sheds.
A very dapper looking Mark Vincent blasting out an operatic rendition of the anthem now.
1 min: We're off! Thurston kicks off and Kite brings it back.
2 min: Hayne comes in for a crunching blow on Tonga.
3 min: Penalty NSW and they will have the first attack, Civinoceva held on for too long, NSW 30m out.
4 min: Folau intercepts! He's away! Brought down 10m short by Hayne. Penalty QLD, they take the tap.
6 min: TRY Queensland It goes left to Thurston, 10m out, Thurston holds, pops it inside to Inglis who saunters over Gidley, you won't see an easier try. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Queensland 6-0
8 min: The Wolfman's bringing a kick back at speed and he's spilled it! Another attacking set for QLD.
9 min: NSW are lucky to be let off as Tonga butchers a try, they are battling to get away from their line now.
11 min: QLD hot on attack again and this time Hayne intercepts! He plucked it out of the air but was brought down straight away.
12 min: Weyman impressive so far, making good yards up the middle for NSW. NSW find touch now for a breather on the way to the scrum.
16 min: Inglis makes a break on the 1st tackle! Copybook tackle from Gidley brings him down near halfway.
17 min: The wolfman drops it again!
17 min: TRY Queensland Folau picks it up from the Williams spill, jogs left, throws a little Benji Marshall step through the line and cruises in under the posts, very embarrassing try to concede for NSW. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Queensland 12-0
21 min: Williams brings back another kick and a huge cheer goes up as he manages to hold on to this one.
22 min: Penalty QLD. Barrett floated one out to Lyon, Lyon gave it to Williams, Williams threw it to Inglis who was hit hard in the jaw by Barrett and is still down.
22 min: Inglis comes from the field looking very groggy, Barrett is put on report.
25 min: TRY Queensland Ben Creagh can't hold on to a pass 10m out from his line, Lockyer scoops it up and dots down for another real gimmie of a try for QLD. I thought the first try was easy, the following two have been embarrassing. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Queensland 18-0
27 min: NSW spill again and QLD are hot on attack.
28 min: TRY New South Wales Slater throws a cut-out to the right but Hayne intercepts! He puts the foot down, Slater chases but gives up around halfway, Hayne goes 90m and dots down. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley successful. Queensland 18-6
31 min: This time Weyman loses it and gifts QLD an attacking set.
32 min: Thurston's chip kick hits the post and it's anyone's, O'Donnell grabs it and the Blues are making good yards now, Wallace throws a messy forward pass though.
34 min: Hold on, here's a bit of how's-your-father, O'Donnell is not happy with Hannant, the penalty goes to QLD. It looks like Hannant kicked O'Donnell as he was getting off him.
35 min: VIDEO REF: Harrison has gone over but did Tonga knock on? - NO TRY! It looked like a sure thing, Gus Gould is beside himself. Tonga offloaded on the last tackle, Harrison scooped it up and dotted down.
36 min: Here we go again! It's Poore and Crocker trading some serious blows and the crowd is making some good noise again, this is what you want to see in Origin.
38 min: There looks to be some real feeling in the match now, the intensity has stepped up.
39 min: VIDEO REF: Hayne's in, checking obstruction?
39 min: TRY New South Wales O'Donnell goes very close on the 4th tackle, Hayne grabs it from dummy half, slides a step to the left and burrows over the line in the left corner, Harrigan and Mander give it benefit-of-the-doubt. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful. Queensland 18-10
Halftime: NSW 10 QLD 18
41 min: Here we go again, Myles gets the 2nd half going with the first hitup.
43 min: Scrum NSW on their 40m, Lockyer knocked on. Hayne knocks on now and QLD will have a scrum in the same spot. The report on Inglis is that he will not be coming back tonight, Thaiday also in a spot of bother with a cork.
46 min: Penalty QLD, Slater escaped from the in-goal but was dragged back in.
47 min: Scrum NSW, Slater makes half a break, gets an offload away but it's knocked on.
50 min: Farah finds touch at the 10m line, Josh Morris comes on.
52 min: Lyon gives it to Williams who just manages to stay in-field, he throws a loose pass inside and it goes forward, Wallace is hit hard trying to regather it and shakes it off as he gets to his feet gingerly.
54 min: NSW reshuffle - Gidley goes to hooker, Hayne to fullback and Josh Morris comes in at centre.
56 min: Gidley puts in a little chip, it's too heavy and rolls dead, disappointing finish to the set as QLD look to be struggling a bit with a number of injuries.
57 min: Big hit on Crocker by Watmough, he dislodges it and NSW attack, Creagh can't take the pass though, QLD off the hook again.
59 min: Watmough once more puts in some solid defensive work, this time on Slater.
61 min: Slater's missed the bomb! NSW start a set from 20m out.
62 min: TRY New South Wales It goes left to Barrett, Barrett comes back right, holds it, dummys, holds, goes to the line, gets an arm free and gives it to Williams who dives over in the corner and does well to get it down. Conversion attempt by Kurt Gidley unsuccessful. Queensland 18-14
65 min: It's anyone's game with 15 to go, NSW look to have the upper-hand - QLD out on their feet and making uncharacteristic mistakes.
66 min: Another spill, this time from Crocker, puts NSW on attack. Monaghan goes over in the left corner but is held up.
67 min: Price charges down! He pulls off his trademark move. It goes to Creagh, he spills it and QLD have it near halfway.
68 min: Thurston grubbers, it bounces high for Slater who taps it back to a NSW forward who gladly pounces on the ball.
69 min: Thurston chips for the right wing, he's taken out in the process and it bounces into touch.
70 min: Glenn Stewart loses it, Civinoceva now loses it, NSW have it near halfway.
71 min: A mini-bomb goes up for Monaghan, Folau goes up with him and is judged to have tapped it dead, dropout.
73 min: Barrett kicks to the right this time, Boyd takes it easily, another disappointing last tackle.
74 min: Myles is forced to kick and shows why he doesn't usually attempt it.
75 min: Williams kicks early, down the right wing, Boyd grabs it and is crunched. Both sides playing nervously, making silly mistakes on attack.
76 min: Lyon goes to the right, he holds on to it too long and is wrestled over the sideline.
77 min: Lockyer kicks from 10m out, Hayne takes it and is trapped in-goal, dropout.
78 min: VIDEO REF: Smith is in is he?
79 min: TRY Queensland Slater taps the kick back, O'Donnell grabs it but is pulled back in-goal, in desperation he lets go of the ball, Smith scoops it up uncontested and dots down beside the posts to seal victory. Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful. Queensland 24-14