Queensland Maroons 52
Tries: Dane Gagai, Josh Papalii, Greg Inglis, Matt Gillett, Michael Morgan, Darius Boyd, Will Chambers, Aiden Guerra
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 9, Justin Hodges
Field Goals: nil
New South Wales Blues 6
Tries: Michael Jennings
Goals: Trent Hodkinson
Field Goals: nil
Queensland have regained the State of Origin Shield as they obliterated New South Wales 52-6 at Suncorp Stadium in front of 52,500 fans.
A match that was anticipated to be the biggest decider in the last decade was over well before half time with Queensland’s determination and slickness in attack streets ahead of the defending title holders poor discipline and lack of enthusiasm.
Both sides took a cautious approach early on with Trent Hodkinson and Johnathan Thurston exchanging early penalty goals three minutes apart.
A dream debut for Dane Gagai saw the Maroons score the first try of the contest after fifteen minutes. Recalled Josh Papalii tormented the Blues and was rewarded with a try from close range after twenty-seven minutes. Five mintues before the break Greg Inglis barged his way over the line. Queensland would head into the break in full command at 20-2.
Whatever Laurie Daley said to his side at half time went in one ear and out the other as Queensland went up an extra gear to ensure Justin Hodges would finish his representative career on a high. Hodges’ neat pass provide Matt Gillett with a try two minutes after the break and from that point there was no return for the dismal Blues.
Michael Morgan crossed for his first Origin try after fifty-two minutes before somewhat out-of-form Darius Boyd was provided a superb ball from the rookie sub to extend their lead to 40-2, with their record high score of 43 in grave danger at the fifty-eighth minute mark.
Michael Jennings pounced on a wild pass from the Maroons to provide New South Wales with their only try of the night. Will Chambers scored out wide and the score threatened to hit the fifty point mark soon after only for Hodges to be judged off-side from a kick chase.
The reprieve for the Blues was short lived with Aiden Guerra scoring close to full-time allowing Hodges to slot through a simple conversion and give Queensland back the title and their biggest victory since Origin inception in 1982.
New South Wales annihilation has deeper ramifications at club level over the coming weeks. Trent Merrin is on report for a dangerous tackle on Corey Parker. The Match Review Committee charging the Dragon with a grade two dangerous throw which will see him sidelined for 4-5 weeks. Beau Scott was charged with a grade one dangerous throw and misses Newcastle’s clash with Canberra on Friday night. James Tamou’s hit on Jacob Lillyman will cost the Cowboy 1-2 games after being charged with a grade two high tackle.