Championship SQUADS - 2021 Playoffs Week 1
42 mins ago | LeagueUnlimited Media
James Tedesco and Andrew Fifita have played a starring role as the Blues stunned the Queenslanders with a dominant 28-4 victory in front of over 50,000 fans at Suncorp Stadium.
New South Wales started this one in quick fashion, with Andrew Fifita bursting through defenders and popping an offload for his Sharks teammate James Maloney who ran under the posts to score the Blues' first in the 5th minute.
For the next thirty minutes, both sides played near perfect footy, with errors scarce and impenetrable defence seeing the scoreline still at 6-0 after 35 minutes. Queensland finally bounced back in the 36th when Cooper Cronk perfectly executed a cross-field kick for a leaping Corey Oates who soared through the air to grab his side's first points of the night. The clever play came off the back of a Dane Gagai break which already left the Blues defensive line ragged.
It appeared as if, despite their dominance, the Blues would head into the sheds with a slim two-point lead after Cameron Smith hooked his opening conversion. Yet Fifita rampaged through the middle once more, and the Blues took full advantage. James Tedesco found space after a Wade Graham pass and linked with Mitchell Pearce who dived under the posts to land a cruel blow just on half time.
The Blues came out in the second forty with just as much enthusiasm after Jarryd Hayne fumbled a Pearce bomb in the 44th minute with the try line looming. However, they would not be denied minutes later when Tedesco crashed through four defenders to score in the 50th minute. The Blues rode a wave of momentum and Laurie Daley's men went back-to-back after a Justin O'Neill error gifted Fifita a well-deserved try.
It was beginning to get embarrassing for the Queenslanders when Jarryd Hayne took a Wade Graham pass and shot through the line to score a simple four-pointer and put the result beyond doubt with twenty minutes on the clock.
With the game wrapped up you would have excused some complacency from the Blues side, yet in one of the most dominant defensive efforts in recent history, New South Wales stopped a flurry of certain tries in the final fifteen minutes to seal a commanding 28-4 win.
The Blues will now head home to ANZ Stadium for Game Two full of confidence, while the Queenslanders will be left pondering what went so wrong. The series goes on the line on Wednesday June 21 but until then, it is back to club footy with Melbourne and Newcastle kicking off this week's proceedings on Friday night at 6pm at AAMI Park.
Queensland 4 - New South Wales 28
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Halftime Score: Queensland 4 New South Wales 12
LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - James Tedesco
2 points - Andrew Fifita
1 points - Boyd Cordner
Tries: Corey Oates
Conversions: Cameron Smith (0/1)
NEW SOUTH WALES (28)
Tries: James Maloney, Mitchell Pearce, James Tedesco, Andrew Fifita, Jarryd Hayne
Conversions: James Maloney (4/5)