Origin: Maroons Win Game II

The QLD Maroons have ensured that Game Three of the Holden State of Origin series back in Sydney will be a decider after they levelled things up at one a piece in Brisbane on Wednesday night.


Eels Head Coach Ricky Stuart was among the more than 52,000 at Suncorp Stadium for the match, after accepting Blues Coach Laurie Daley's invitation to join the team in Brisbane and help hand out the NSW players' jerseys before the game.


The home side thoroughly dominated a first half in which NSW had to make some 36 extra tackles but also missed twice as many as their QLD counterparts.


The Maroons set the tone for the night very early on when a rampaging Sam Thaiday burst onto a brilliant Thurston pass to open the account for the Maroons.


Not long after that it was Thaiday once again who looked dangerous near the NSW line and Maloney gave away one of the Blues five first half penalties when he couldnt make it square to marker in time and Thurston extended the Maroons lead to eight points.


And just when Blues fans thought things couldnt get any worse, Darius Boyd flew over out wide to hand the home side a 14-0 lead in nearly as many minutes.


The Blues managed to settle from this point on and were able to deny QLD of any more points prior to half time and possibly could have scored one or two themselves in the shadows of the break only for some poor fifth tackle options and the last pass going to ground.


If NSW were to be any chance they knew that they would need to strike first in the second half however this was not to be as QLD began in much the same vain as they did the first forty, and it was Darius Boyd who once again found out the right hand edge of the Blues to score his second of the match.


Try as they might the Blues couldnt crack the QLD defence and eventually frustrations boiled to the point where Trent Merrin took things into his own hands and found himself at the centre of a brawl that saw himself, Greg Bird, Justin Hodges and Brent Tate all spending 10 minutes in the sin bin.


From the resulting penalty, QLD marched up the field and scored once again, this time with a pin point Cronk cross field kick finding its intended mark in Greg Inglis.


Finally in the 69th minute the Blues bothered the scoreboard attendant for the first and only time when Farah put in a beautiful kick for a flying Brett Morris who did well to touch done inside the sideline.


There was little question that QLD thoroughly deserved their victory on the night but NSW will return home in three weeks time still with the belief that this squad has its best chance in recent memory to wrestle back the shield from QLDs vice like grip.


While clearly disappointed with the final result, NSW VB Blues captain Paul Gallen is already looking forward to a decider.


We knew they would be fired up get the jump on us and they started really well tonight and went on and won the game obviously," Gallen said.


"Obviously they improved, now so will we... everyone wanted to see a decider so bring it on."


Eels fullback Jarryd Hayne is expected to return from a hamstring injury in time to be considered for Origin III at ANZ Stadium on July 17.


Queensland: 26 (Boyd 2, Thaiday, Inglis. Goals: Thurston 5/5)

New South Wales: 6 (B Morris. Goals: Maloney 1/1)