STATE of Origin II Queensland 30 v New South Wales 6at Suncorp StadiumReferees: Steve ClarkCrowd: 52,468Match Summary:Superb Maroon defence has seen Queensland completely outplay New South Wales in Game II of the 2006 State of Origin, taking the match 30-6.A Willie Mason knock-on in the first set of six set the pattern for the game as the Blues never recovered, being hammered from pillar to post in every Queensland tackle. The first try came from a crafty set play at the scrum base, Flannery peeling off at lock, passing back inside to Webb who strolled over untouched after breaking from the scrum himself. A great length of the field intercept try from Justin Hodges 12 minutes later saw the Maroons take a 14-0 lead into halftime.Unlike Queensland in Game I, there would be no comeback for the Blues as further tries to Berrigan and a double from debutant Adam Mogg saw them race away to a match-winning 30 point lead. New South Wales crossed late in the match through Tahu, but by then the game was well and truly lost, and minds were no doubt already focusing on Game III in three weeks time.Five eighth Darren Lockyer and halfback Johnathan Thurston had a field day, their running, kicking and passing games forcing the Blues backwards all night. New South Wales may be looking at some new faces in their squad for Game III, however they only played as well as Queensland would allow, so changes may only be forced through injury. Speaking of injuries, Queensland's Steve Bell went off the field after a headclash with Steve Menzies, whilst for the Blues Eric Grothe has apparently come away with a corked thigh. Both players are in doubt for their respective clubs this weekend. Scorers:Queensland: 30Tries: Shaun Berrigan, Carl Webb, Justin Hodges, Adam Mogg(2)Goals: Jonathon Thurston 5/6New South Wales: 6Tries: Timana TahuGoals: Brett Hodgson 1/1By the Clock:Game II - State of Origin 2006 is ready and waiting for Queensland to square the series, or for New South Wales to take their fourth consecutive interstate title. The weather is cool and clear, it's time to get this show on the road.The teams are out on the field, the anthem has been delivered, it's showtime!1 min: NEWS Darren Lockyer kicks off and we're underway in Game II 20062 min: NEWS Mason makes the first mistake of the match and Queensland go straight on the attack3 min: NEWS Hodges offloads with 6 defenders hanging off him, fortunately for the Blues the ball trickles into touch6 min: PENALTY GOAL QueenslandThurston converts a penalty after Kite is penalised for holding down in the play the ball QLD 2-012 min: NEWS Queensland are dominating field position in the early exchanges17 min: NEWS Luke Bailey makes his way onto the field for the first time tonight, as does Flannery for the Maroons18 min: NEWS The Blues handling is leaving alot to be desired as Buderus drops the ball cold after being tackled by Lockyer.20 min: TRY QueenslandCarl Webb strolls over one pass from the scrum, giving the Maroons the reward that their defence demanded. Thurston converts from in front of the posts QLD 8-023 min: NEWS O'Meley knocks on after a Civoniceva shoulder barge. QLD are back on the attack28 min: NEWS The Blues get a relieving penalty on their own line as Queensland's defence continues to force them backwards32 min: TRY QueenslandHodges races the length of the field to score after a Blues pass hits him on the chest. Thurston converts QLD 14-037 min: NEWS Tate is held up over the try line as the Maroons look to put this game out of reach before halftimeHALFTIME - Queensland leave the field to a standing ovation, almost erasing memories of their first half display in Game I. The Blues on the other hand have looked out of sorts since Mason knocked on from the opening set of six. Their game needs to lift in all facets if they are to have any chance of taking the series tonight.41 min: NEWS Hodgson kicks off and here we go for the second half42 min: NEWS After a great hit by Sam Thaiday, a Finch pass hits Mason in the face giving the Maroons a dream start to the second half44 min: NEWS Justin Hodges goes down injured after a hard Mark O'Meley tackle, he rises to his feet and looks able to play on.46 min: TRY QueenslandA horror pass from Anasta to Gasnier brings about a dropped ball. Thurston toes ahead, regathers, then passes spectacularly to Mogg who easily scores his first Origin try on debut. Thurston converts. QLD 20-047 min: NEWS An easily dropped ball by Smith gives the Blues a chance to get back into the match, but they squander yet another chance with good field position52 min: NEWS More of the same from the Blues, as Finch drops a more than catchable pass53 min: NEWS Jacob Lillyman is on the field for his debut Origin experience, not a bad time to do it with his team leading by 20 points55 min: NEWS Gasnier is given a chat by Steve Clark after blowing up following another NSW dropped ball. Queensland are on the attack now, but lose the ball after a bad pass from Lockyer58 min: NEWS NSW squander their best chance of the match after a great burst by King down the right flank. The ball goes through the hands to Menzies who looks to draw and pass only to lose it forward, relieving all pressure off the Maroons61 min: NEWS 20 minutes to go and it looks certain we are heading to Telstra Dome for a Game 3 decider. NSW need an act of God, actually make that 5 or 6 acts of God to snare the series from here64 min: TRY QueenslandMogg scores his second try, diving into the corner after King rushes up out of the line to stop the Maroon attack. Video ref says TRY and Game II belongs to Queensland. Thurston misses the conversion from the sideline QLD 24-067 min: TRY QueenslandLockyer makes a great break down the middle of the park, draws Hodgson to put Berrigan away under the sticks. Thurston converts easily from in front QLD 30-075 min: NEWS 5 minutes remaining and the match is going through the motions at the moment. NSW seem to want to get off the field as quickly as possible while Queensland look like they could play on all night77 min: TRY New South WalesGreat hands by the Blues sees Timana Tahu score nothing more than a consolation try, whilst leaving NSW fans wondering where those skills were in the previous 70-odd minutes. Hodgson converts QLD 30-6FULLTIME - Queensland have completely dominated from go to woah, squaring the series and taking all momentum into Game III. New South Wales could possibly be looking at changes to their squad after they appeared to be outplayed from jersey 1 to jersey 17.-----------------------------------------Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:3 - Jonathon Thurston (Maroons)2 - Darren Lockyer (Maroons)1 - Adam Mogg (Maroons)-----------------------------------------
THREE weeks have passed since the first Origin encounter of 2006 and it has been one busy and interesting little period. Let?s take a look at Wednesday?s match-up.Queensland?s WaterlooAfter more than 25 years of war the Maroons are in an unfamiliar position. Their coach is declaring that should they lose this year?s series, the entire fate of Origin football is at stake. This makes Mal Meninga not too dissimilar from Napoleon.Big Mal has rallied his troops, the Grand Armee, into war after a period of exodus on a remote Mediterranean island. But I fear he has injected the Old Guard into proceedings a little too early. The criticisms of the Queensland team have been widespread so I thought I might as well add my two cents worth.Firstly, they went out of their way to pick a young back row in the first game upon the understanding that they would develop and mature in their exposure to Origin football. So, why on earth would you drop fit, young men for Tonie Carroll and Chris Flannery? Carroll was coming back from injury when facing the Warriors, in which he was subsequently injured again, and Flanno has done nothing but tape up his shoes all year and run out onto the field.Next they decide to drop Bowen because they think Hunt will be a better custodian. Not sure what the story is there, but I doubt Hunt is up to Origin football, and Bowen?s attack will be sorely missed.Then there?s the real joker in the pack: Adam Mogg. He?s been playing well all year for the Raiders but surely he must have thought someone was pulling his leg when the Queensland selectors picked him to cover the loss of Greg Inglis. Anyone for Wesser, Schifcofske, Bowen?A few things I think the Maroon selectors have picked right is the choice of Storm three-quater Steve Bell at centre in this match. He will be dangerous when given the ball and can also defend well out wide. Carl Webb?s presence in the run-on side should also provide some much needed mongrel. The Maroon?s desperately require someone who can unleash a bit of pain at the drop of a hat and he?s just the man to do it.Looking at their bench though, it would have to be one of the most ineffective of all time. Thaiday may provide some impact if used correctly in this game, but the rest of reserves are a bit strange if you ask me. Why would you pick Lillyman ahead of the dumped Scott or Stagg? He?s only had 3 first grade games this year?is it to save face? And I?m still unsure of Shaun Berrigan?s role in match, he did very little in Game I.New South Wales?s Desert Storm 2Graham Murray will stride out into the lush surroundings of Suncorp Stadium with one mission in mind ? destroy the Maroons. The Blues know they have weapons of mass destruction hidden somewhere, they?re just been unable to find them over the past three series.With only one change to their line-up it?s hard to see New South Wales struggling for cohesion in this contest. Luke O?Donnell has been forced out with a hand injury making way for the ever-reliable Luke Bailey to come onto the bench.It?s never easy winning at the ground formerly known as Lang Park and I think that the Blues have a sound opportunity to wrap-up the series in style, disappointing all those fans in Victoria who are hoping for a decider in the Southern Capital.Hindmarsh and Buderus will provide the Blues with lots of go-forward and if they can distribute the ball to their backs, Gasnier, Tahu, Grothe and King will have a field day.The DecisionWhen all is said and done Origin football is a very different beast in reality than on face value. Queensland only lost by one point last game but I think it should have been by plenty more. But that won?t affect the Maroons, they?re happy to be under-dogs and will thrive on the pressure placed on NSW to win the series outright.Plus, most people think that there should always be a decider and sometime these things will themselves to happen. I?m bucking the trend though, I think New South Wales will win by 4 points and carry the shield off home south of the border.
FRIDAY, 16th June 2006Brisbane v St George Illawarra at Suncorp Stadium, 7.30pmBroncos: Karmichael Hunt, Tame Tupou, Justin Hodges, Brent Tate, Darius Boyd, Darren Lockyer (c), Shane Perry, Shane Webcke, Shaun Berrigan, Petero Civoniceva, Dane Carlaw, Corey Parker, David StaggInterchange: Brad Thorn, Ben Hannant, Sam Thaiday, Ian Lacey, Greg Eastwood, Casey McGuire, Brett Seymour (three to be omitted)Dragons: Clint Greenshields, Colin Best, Mark Gasnier, Matt Cooper, Brett Morris, Ben Hornby (c), Matthew Head, Luke Bailey, Dean Young, Justin Poore, Sam Isemonger, Ben Creagh, Matt BickerstaffInterchange: Michael Henderson, Jason Ryles, Danny Wicks, Aaron GorrellReferee: Tony ArcherSaturday, 17th June 2006Wests v Sydney at Telstra Stadium, 5.30pmTigers: Brett Hodgson (c), Taniela Tuiaki, Dean Collis, Shane Elford, Michael Crockett, Benji Marshall, Scott Prince, Ryan O'Hara, Robbie Farah, John Skandalis, Anthony Laffranchi, Todd Payten, Jamaal LolesiInterchange: Shannon McDonnell, Chris Heighington, Bryce Gibbs, Ben Galea, Keith GallowayRoosters: Shaun Foley, Amos Roberts, Ryan Cross, Iosia Soliola, Vince Mellars, Braith Anasta, Brett Finch, Adrian Morley, Craig Wing, David Shillington, Anthony Tupou, Craig Fitzgibbon (c), Chris FlanneryInterchange: Ashley Harrison, Shane Shackleton, Heath L'estrange, Charles TongaReferee: Gavin BadgerCronulla v Manly at Toyota Park, 7.30pmSharks: David Simmons, Darren Albert, Nigel Vagana, Phil Bailey, Luke Covell, Brett Kearney, Brett Kimmorley, James Stosic, Kevin Kingston, Luke Douglas, Lance Thompson, Greg Bird, Paul GallenInterchange: Hutch Maiava, Matt Hilder, Reece Williams, Beau ScottSea Eagles: Brett Stewart, Michael Robertson, Steve Bell, Steve Matai, Chris Hicks, Travis Burns, Matt Orford, Kylie Leuluai, Michael Monaghan, Brent Kite, Steve Menzies, Anthony Watmough, Ben Kennedy (c)Interchange: Shane Dunley, Luke Williamson, Jason King, Mark Bryant, George RoseReferee: Sean HampsteadParramatta v South Sydney at Parramatta Stadium, 7.30pmEels: Wade Mckinnon, Jarryd Hayne, Brett Delaney, Timana Tahu, Eric Grothe, John Morris, Tim Smith, Nathan Cayless (c), Mark Riddell, Fuifui Moimoi, Nathan Hindmarsh, Chad Robinson, Glenn MorrisonInterchange: PJ Marsh, Dean Widders, Daniel Wagon, Michael VellaRabbitohs: David Peachey, Nathan Merritt, Todd Polglase, Luke MacDougall, Paul Mellor, John Sutton, Ben Walker, Peter Cusack (c), Shane Walker, Manase Manuokafoa, David Fa'alogo, Mark Minichiello, Shane RigonInterchange: Jaiman Lowe, Joe Lichaa, Ben Rogers, Shannan McPherson, Michael Greenfield (one to be omitted)Referee: Russell SmithSunday, 18th June 2006New Zealand v Newcastle at Ericsson Stadium, 12pm (AEST)Warriors: Brent Webb, Patrick Ah Van, Tony Martin, Simon Mannering, Manu Vatuvei, Jerome Ropati, Grant Rovelli, Ruben Wiki, Nathan Fien, Steve Price (c), Awen Guttenbeil, Louis Anderson, Sione FaumuinaInterchange: Lance Hohaia, Evarn Tuimavave, Wairangi Koopu, Micheal LuckKnights: David Seage, Brian Carney, Matthew Gidley, George Carmont, Anthony Quinn, Kurt Gidley, Andrew Johns (c), Craig Smith, Danny Buderus, Josh Perry, Steve Simpson, Clint Newton, Reegan TannerInterchange: Luke Davico, Adam Woolnough, Todd Lowrie, Riley Brown, Kirk Reynoldson (one to be omitted)Referee: Jarred MaxwellMelbourne v Canberra at Olympic Park, 2.30pmStorm: Steve Turner, Matt Geyer, Matt King, Jake Webster, Chris Walker, Scott Hill, Cooper Cronk, Garret Crossman, Cameron Smith, Brett White, David Kidwell, Ryan Hoffman, Dallas JohnsonInterchange: Ian Donnelly, Jeremy Smith, Antonio Kaufusi, Nathan Friend, Adam Blair, Smith Samau, Jamie Feeney, Ben Cross. (four to be omitted)Raiders: Clinton Schifcofske (c), Craig Frawley, Phil Graham, Adam Mogg, Adrian Purtell, Todd Carney, Lincoln Withers, Michael Hodgson, Simon Woolford, Troy Thompson, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Jason Croker, Alan TongueInterchange: Marshall Chalk, Ben Jones, Jason Williams, Michael Weyman, Alan Rothery, Trevor Thurling (two to be omitted)Referee: Shayne HayneCanterbury v North Queensland at Carrara Stadium, 3pmBulldogs: Luke Patten, Hazem El Masri, Sonny Bill Williams, Cameron Phelps, Matt Utai, Daniel Holdsworth, Brent Sherwin, Mark O'Meley, Tony Grimaldi, Roy Asotasi, Willie Mason, Andrew Ryan (c), Reni MaituaInterchange: Daniel Irvine, Nate Myles, Chris Armit, Dallas McIlwainCowboys: Matt Bowen, Brenton Bowen, Josh Hannay, Paul Bowman, Matt Sing, Shane Muspratt, Jonathan Thurston, Shane Tronc, Aaron Payne, Carl Webb, Justin Smith, Jacob Lillyman, Travis Norton (c)Interchange: Rod Jensen, David Faiumu, Matthew Scott, Mitchell Sargent, Brett Firman (one to be omitted)Referee: TBA.The Panthers have the bye in Round 15.