Cody Walker's Origin redemption story

Darren Walton
·2-min read

Cody Walker penned rugby league's latest redemption story to help NSW to the precipice of a third straight State of Origin series triumph.

The Blues' 2019 scapegoat turned 2020 saviour after marking his starting return with an inspired showing in the Blues' series-levelling 34-10 spanking of Queensland in Sydney.

Banished from last year's series after NSW blew an eight-point halftime lead in a 18-14 loss to the Maroons in game one, Walker repaid Brad Fittler's faith in the mercurial No.6 with a dazzling and dominant display on Wednesday night.

Replacing Luke Keary at five-eighth to offer the Blues more attacking spark, Walker bagged a try, had a hand or boot in three others and generally terrorised the Maroons precisely the way coach Fittler had hoped he would.

Whether it was his short ball for Angus Crichton or a long ball for Daniel Tupou, Walker was particularly menacing on the left edge.

So dangerous wherever he was, he scored his own try on the right, making a fool of the Queensland defence in the 17th minute.

Then, from a NSW scrum two minutes before halftime, Walker combined with fullback and first-time Blues captain James Tedesco to put Josh Addo-Carr over.

Offering no let-up, Walker was at it again three minutes after the break, his slick cut-out pass to Jack Wighton affording Canberra's Dally M Medallist the time and space to force his way over in the left-hand corner for NSW's fourth try of the night.

Toying with the Maroons, Walker teamed with Tedesco again from a Blues scrum to set up Tupou for his long-awaited maiden Origin try in the 54th minute.

Not done yet, Walker's pin-point kick for Addo-Carr earned the flying winger his second five-pointer of the night in the 65th minute.

It was a simply sublime performance.

"Cody was on fire tonight," Walker's Blues halves partner Nathan Cleary said.

Walker said he was far more comfortable in his Origin comeback start than on debut last year.

"I didn't have too much nerves last night and today," he said.

"So I just wanted to come out and play some footy, mate, and enjoy myself."

Now, almost six months to the day since copping a two-match ban and $15,000 suspended fine for kung-fu kicking a man in a fight in Casino, Walker will have the chance to complete his redemption story in next week's series decider at Suncorp Stadium.