Jarome Luai captured in ugly moment with NSW and Panthers teammate in State of Origin 2

The playmaker wasn't happy with Dylan Edwards' effort on a Queensland try in the second half.

State of Origin viewers noticed a fiery exchange between NSW and Panthers teammates Jarome Luai and Dylan Edwards in the second half of the Blues' victory on Wednesday night. Michael Maguire's side levelled the series at 1-1, thrashing a shell-shocked Queensland team 38-18.

NSW raced out to a 34-0 lead at half-time, and although the Maroons scored three tries to one in the second stanza it was a resounding Blues victory. But Luai wasn't particularly happy with Edwards when the Maroons finally got on the board in the second half, and let his teammate know about it.

Jarome Luai and Dylan Edwards in State of Origin 2.
Jarome Luai was quick to give Dylan Edwards a spray for missing the tackle. Image: Channel 9

Edwards came across in defence but missed a last-ditch tackle on Jeremiah Nanai as the Maroons forward burst through to score. Edwards would have backed himself to make the tackle and prevent the try, but slipped off in a disappointing effort.

Dylan Edwards, pictured here missing the tackle on Jeremiah Nanai in Origin 2.
Dylan Edwards missed the tackle on Jeremiah Nanai to allow him to score. Image: Channel 9

Luai, who was also part of the tackle around Nanai's legs, immediately shot daggers at Edwards and gave him a spray. What was most interesting about the incident is that as well as being NSW teammates, Luai and Edwards also play together for the Penrith Panthers.

Luai's reaction was most likely a player holding a teammate accountable regardless of their club allegiances, and the fact it meant the Blues weren't able to keep Queensland scoreless. But it certainly didn't go unnoticed with TV viewers watching at home, who took to social media to highlight it. The strange moment brought back memories of when Luai was among a number of Panthers players who completely ignored Edwards and failed to celebrate when he won the Clive Churchill Medal after the NRL grand final in 2022.

"The try Nanai scored, he just ran it directly at Luai and busted through him to score 10m out of the line," one person commented on Wednesday night. "It was a one on one miss. Then he yells at Edwards and was like where were you?"

Another person commented: "Luai looked angry at Edwards just standing there and not defending then." While a third wrote: "Even Luai was asking Dylan Edwards what he was doing on that play."

Edwards made up for the defensive gaffe when he scored his first try at Origin level not long after. The fullback produced a brilliant display in his Origin debut for NSW after replacing long-time No.1 James Tedesco after NSW's loss in Origin 1.

He also threw the final pass for Latrell Mitchell to score in the first half, and although he dropped a bomb in the second stanza he was very solid at the back. The real test will come when Edwards and his fellow inexperienced Blues players head to Suncorp for the deciding Game 3 in three weeks time.

Jarome Luai and Dylan Edwards with Panthers teammates Liam Martin, Brian To'o and Isaah Yeo after Origin 2.
Jarome Luai and Dylan Edwards were all smiles with Panthers teammates Liam Martin, Brian To'o and Isaah Yeo after the game. Image: Getty


The Blues have only won two deciding games in Brisbane since State of Origin began - in 1994 and 2005. But coach Michael Maguire is downplaying the significance of the challenge, relishing the chance for the Blues of 2024 to write their way into Origin folklore.

"One thing about this group is they don't really look into any of that," he said after the game. "They just work hard on helping each other out and working for each other. Wherever you go and play, you've got to play and this group, they're looking internally rather than looking externally.

"At the end of the day, it's the same field you have got to play and they found their game tonight. It can be done. If this group gets together like they did for this game, there's no reason why things can't happen."

with AAP