Queensland dampen Blues celebrations with dominant victory

Queensland have given their fans something to savour in the 2-1 series loss after a dominant 32-8 victory over New South Wales to prevent the whitewash, at home in front of 50,155 fans at Suncorp Stadium.

After the Blues victory at ANZ several weeks ago, this was billed as a dead rubber game with Queensland looking to avoid a series whitewash, for the first time since 2003. Once the first tackle was hit-up, the first niggle whispered in an opponents ear and the discussion points started up on social media, it was always going to be more than a dead rubber.

The first half was a microcosm of the entire 2014 origin series. It was tough, uncompromising and low-scoring. New South Wales were put under massive pressure, as the stuttering Queensland engine, finally kicked into gear albeit slightly too late for them to make it nine straight. It came in waves, Guerra, Boyd and Inglis were all repelled by a Blue wall that absorbed pressure like a well worn tyre and threw it right back at the former champions. 

The well worn tyre had some kick in it yet. 23 minutes on the clock, New South Wales finally put together some field possession and earnt a penalty for a high shot by Ben Te'o, in a game which saw several players forced to face the judiciary in the coming days. Back to the contest, Hodkinson made it 2-nil to start the wheel rolling for a potential whitewash. 

Almost two hours elapsed since the much vaunted Queensland side brought themselves out of neutral and crossed the white stripe but the introduction of Daly Cherry-Evans worked. The Manly halfback sliced through some feeble defence putting it on the toe for captain Cameron Smith, whose biggest opponent for the ball was a team-mate, Queensland 6-2 at halftime. 

That was the kick the disposed champions needed. The domination of possession continued after the break, Billy Slater, who is no stranger to an origin try, found the stripe once again. The fullback running off a pass from Justin Hodges, who turned playmaker in several tries tonight, cutting a swathe through NSW and opening a twelve point lead, after Thurston added another penalty goal. 

New South Wales would wilt eventually under the overbearing pressure from Queensland but they held a single bright spark in a losing effort. Josh Dugan opening his origin account, a well worked try, seeing the centre pop out like the cork of a good wine or cruiser if that is your go, to briefly bring the arrears back to six.

Queensland just continued to kick up the gears and the tired and beaten Blues team, couldn't hold court with them. The Maroons foreshadowing to a tougher task ahead for the blues in the 2015 series. Darius Boyd put himself level with teammate Greg Inglis, as the winger, the opening try-scorer in the first game, was on the end of the well rehearsed backline play to push it out once again. 

From that try, the floodgates opened for the Maroons. First it was Aidan Guerra getting just reward for his barnstorming effort tonight, as he almost moonwalked through the defence, again from a Hodges pass to open his origin account. Lastly, it was just reward, for Cooper Cronk, the halfback missed a majority of game one and the whole of game two with a shoulder complaint finished off the scoring. Guerra once again burst through some shirt grabbing before passing inside to the halfback. Queensland 32-8, no whitewash for the New South Wales but still a series of what ifs? for the star-studded Queensland side. 


Match Details
Queensland Maroons 32 New South Wales Blues 8
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Crowd: 50155
Halftime Score: Queensland Maroons 6 New South Wales Blues 2

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Corey Parker
2 points - Aidan Guerra
1 point - Beau Scott

QUEENSLAND MAROONS (32)
Tries: Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Aidan Guerra, Cooper Cronk
Field Goals:
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (5/5)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (1/1)

NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES (8)
Tries: Josh Dugan
Field Goals:
Conversions: Trent Hodkinson (1/1)
Penalty Goals: Trent Hodkinson (1/1)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

LATE MAIL: Queensland Maroons - Unchanged and take the field 1-17

LATE MAIL: New South Wales Blues - No changes for the Blues, lining up 1-17

Welcome one and all, to the final State of Origin game for 2014 - New South Wales against Queensland, the same old song and dance but with a radical new twist and I'm not talking dubstep beats. The Blues after eight straight years of trying, have wrest control of the state of origin shield from a dominant Queensland side. This means tonight is in name only, a dead rubber, it will mean something to the 34 men on the field and the two states - NSW looking to put an exclamation point on their first series win in almost a decade while QLD want to spoil the party, make the shield lifting from Gallen and his troops afterwards feel slightly hollow, so game on!

There are a few issues coming into the game tonight - Cooper Cronk, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury, makes a return tonight and will be targeted by the NSW team. It isn't a picture of health for the Blues though, Josh Morris who was originally sidelined for the entire origin series, will take his spot against Greg Inglis in the centres. These have dominated the headlines leading up to the game besides some grandstanding from each state's more sensationalised newspapers and Mal taking the Darius Boyd vow of silence in the pre-game interviews, leading up to tonight. It is down to the two teams now, to do all the talking, join us at 8:15pm (approx.) for kick-off in the final origin game.

The preliminaries are done, we have moved on-field with Detective Inspector Karen Murphy delivering the match ball to a fellow Queenslander, Wally Lewis. Here come the two sides, first is the champions elect, New South Wales to whistles and jeers from the partisan Queensland crowd, they won't care, they will want 3-0. Next out is the home side, Queensland, buoyed by previously mention partisan crowd, wanting to spoil the blue rinse party. They made the New South Welshmen wait though, much like they had to in the second game of the series, early gamesmanship.

1: Now we get the anthems after Jarryd Hayne was done, with his manicure. Gregory Moore with a lovely rendition but it's game-on time. Teams have scattered to their own ends.. Queensland will kick-off. Here we go!

5: PENALTY Queensland! After a solid start from both sides, Greg Bird just held on too long drawing the ire of the referee.

6: VIDEO REFEREE: Greg Inglis got some space down the left but is held up by several defenders and had it stripped.

6: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! It was knocked on. NSW go to the 20 metre line.

7: Another Queensland PENALTY. This time, coming out of trouble. NSW didn't retreat the ten.

8: Followed by a second PENALTY, Thaiday was stripped.

9: Inventive kick from Cronk forcing Hodkinson to bat it dead.

11: UNFORCED ERROR QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Johnathan Thurston makes an unforced error.

Beau Scott sensing Thurston was trying to give space to Greg Inglis, jammed in on the five-eighth and forced him to spill it.

12: PENALTY New South Wales. Blues after defending twelve tackles, earn their first PENALTY.

14: HELD UP! Greg Inglis, who has been strong thus far.. burst through underarming it Thurston who crawled towards the line but was held up by McManus and Dugan.

14: VIDEO REFEREE: Aidan Guerra is the unlikely scorer. Referee has a try..

15: RED LIGHTS..NO TRY! Thurston was called offside off the second kick. NSW PENALTY.

22: PENALTY New South Wales! Hodkinson was taken late by Ben Te'o.

22: Ben Te'o is put ON REPORT. New South Wales take the two.

23: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES
Penalty goal attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.

Hodkinson steps up and pilots it through.

24: PENALTY right from the kick-off against Hodges for a shoudler charge. NSW fail to find touch and Slater runs it back.

26: PENALTY Queensland - Bird was offside from Hayne picking up the ball.

28: Daniel Tupou saved the day. Cronk stabbed one through forcing the Roosters winger to bat it dead. Dropout.

30: UNFORCED ERROR NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES
Josh Dugan makes an unforced error.

Josh Dugan had to come in from his centre position there. It was looking ominous for Queensland. Another set coming.. can the Blues hold on?

31: Boyd finally got some space after Dugan raced in but it was some great cover from Scott and Reynolds to hold up the prolific try-scorer.

32: Knocked on again by NSW! Can QLD capitalise?

32: Inglis drives through again but he's HELD UP!

34: PENALTY Queensland! Will Chambers is in la-la land after he collided with Josh Reynolds at pace, the five-eighth using his shoulder.

35: PENALTY Queensland! Two-on-One strip against NSW. Can they crack the Blue Wall?

36: Greg Inglis tried to inject himself into the playmaking, as the overlap developed. The centre fired his pass too hard and behind his winger and it only met the person in row A.

38: SIX MORE Queensland, as Josh Dugan after some desperation offloads, had to get a touch to it.

39: TRY QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Scored by Cameron Smith. Kick to come.

Queensland finally cracked them! Daly Cherry-Evans sliced through, fresh on the field in the last few minutes found open-air, saw Hayne on-rushing and toed it through, for his captain, Cameron Smith to regather and score the first try of the night.

39: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Thurston from besides the upright puts it through.

40: HALFTIME:: In a defensively dominated game, Queensland hold a slender 6-2 lead going into oranges.

40: Everyone regained their breath? Good! We have forty minutes to go in the 2014 series. NSW are onto Suncorp Stadium to the familiar strains of boos, lining up on halfway. Queensland are making them wait again.. but have emerged through try-scorer Cameron Smith, as they take residence in the southern end.

41: KICK-OFF! Enjoy the last forty minutes of origin football tonight.

43: PENALTY Queensland! Robbie Farah was holding down Cherry-Evans, the architect of the only try in the first half.

45: TRY QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Scored by Billy Slater. Kick to come.

Queensland have one penalty, one try. Chambers was looking for support, found Hodges who gave a flat pass to Slater who stepped past Hayne for one of the easier tries in his origin career.

46: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Johnathan Thurston from the right side this time, puts it through the middle.

47: It just opened up, like a children's book for Thurston on last tackle. The Blues wanted to get some pressure on the kicker, so Thurston went himself and couldn't send his support runners across, he died with the ball. Changeover.

53: UNFORCED ERROR QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Dave Taylor makes an unforced error.

Dave Taylor, fresh on as the Queensland third interchange. The secondrower made a good run but spoiled it with an error.

55: UNFORCED ERROR QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Dave Taylor makes an unforced error.

Two touches, two knock ons from Taylor.

56: Blues trying the inside ball to Dugan, floated forward from Farah.

57: Another repeat set coming for the Queenslanders. Blues are on the rack, Tupou had to rush back to get there for that chip kick.

58: UNFORCED ERROR NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES
Josh Dugan makes an unforced error.

Dugan once again, had to play at the ball to prevent a simple three-on-one. He tried to regather it but referee was onto the tattooed centre.

59: PENALTY Queensland! Greg Bird got Nate Myles in a dangerous position.

60: SUCCESSFUL PENALTY GOAL QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Penalty goal attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Queensland point to the sticks. Thurston adds the easy two from in front.

61: Nate Myles from the kick-off, leads with the elbow. Bird was watching too much of the World Cup, he was playing for that. PENALTY New South Wales in the end.

62: VIDEO REFEREE: Dugan might have crossed. Checking obstruction.

62: TRY NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES
Scored by Josh Dugan. Kick to come.

GREEN LIGHTS..TRY! There was no problem with the obstruction, it was a well worked play. Dugan appeared at the last second he could, to spin and dive over.

63: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION NEW SOUTH WALES BLUES
Conversion attempt by Trent Hodkinson successful.

Hodkinson needs to be perfect to keep NSW in it.. he steps up and puts it through.

65: New South Wales almost went through again, Hayne taking an inside ball from Gallen. The fullback tried to position Scott, who didn't have the legs to make the try-line. They went to the left on last and changeover.

65: PENALTY Queensland - Hodkinson stripped the ball.

66: UNFORCED ERROR QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Nate Myles makes an unforced error.

Myles tried to force his way over with brute strength but spilled it.

70: SIX MORE NSW..

71: PENALTY Queensland! Hodkinson wasn't square at marker.

72: TRY QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Scored by Darius Boyd. Kick to come.

That should seal it. Queensland had been going wide for Boyd at every chance tonight. It worked finally, as Thurston threw a lovely cut-out to send Boyd over.

74: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Johnathan Thurston, looking to push this out to twelve again.. he does so, with a typical Thurston conversion.

73: PENALTY Queensland - New South Wales got the restart all wrong.

75: TRY QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Scored by Aidan Guerra. Kick to come.

The floodgates have opened now. Aidan Guerra finally got his try after being denied earlier. Justin Hodges timed the pass well.

76: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Thurston keeps his perfect record tonight.

76: Dave Taylor held the ball! He took the first hit-up post the restart.

78: TRY QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Scored by Cooper Cronk. Kick to come.

Queensland are never finished! Aidan Guerra, who has been a monster all night struck again. He went through, offloaded to Cronk who strolled over despite the attentions of Hodkinson.

80: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION QUEENSLAND MAROONS
Conversion attempt by Johnathan Thurston successful.

Thurston adds another to the board.

80: FULLTIME :: Queensland claw one back here with a dominant 32-8 victory.

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