Latrell Mitchell and Jarome Luai's off-the-ball hits that left Queensland fans fuming in Origin 2

Maroons fans weren't impressed by some of the ugly incidents that occurred in State of Origin 2.

Queensland fans have called out an array of 'dirty' NSW acts in Game 2 as the Blues put on an absolute clinic against their rivals. NSW were in control from the outset and made the most of their good field possession and Queensland's errors in the first half to take an Origin record 34-0 advantage into the break.

With a massive lead and in very little danger of defeat in the second half, some Blues players began to rub their foes' noses in the fact they were getting walloped. But some of their actions did not go down well. While Latrell Mitchell proved to be a handful for Maroons defenders, he also spent a large part of the second half winding up defeatist Queensland players.

Latrell Mitchell and Reece Walsh in State of Origin 2.
Latrell Mitchell shoved Reece Walsh to the ground well after the ball was dead. Image: Channel 9/Getty

On multiple occasions, Mitchell was seen giving some extras on the ground to tackled players. He also threw the ball at Valentine Holmes when the play was dead. But most aggravating for Queensland fans was the extra attention he gave Reece Walsh.

One instance in particular drew the ire of fans. When Walsh rushed a ball dead after a well placed grubber kick by Jarome Luai, the Blues centre pushed the fullback to the ground. While Blues fans celebrated him going after the flashy Queenslander, Maroons fans questioned why he wasn't penalised.

Origin legends Andrew Johns and Cameron Smith were also left scratching their heads by another incident that went unpunished. Five minutes into the second half after NSW turned the ball over in good field position, Queensland went on the attack in search of their first points of the game.

Jarome Luai and Latrell Mitchell in State of Origin 2.
Jarome Luai and Latrell Mitchell's off the ball shots didn't go down well with Maroons fans. Image: Nine/Getty/Nine

As a wayward pass from hooker Harry Grant went over the head of Daly Cherry-Evans, the Maroons No.7 was knocked to the ground by Luai. However, play continued much to the shock of fans and commentators. “It missed them all and went over the top of Cherry-Evans and Luai took Cherry-Evans out of play,” Mat Thompson said in commentary. Johns replied: “Well he hit him without the ball — you can’t do that.”

The next play, Queensland dropped the ball after Mitchell Moses rushed up on Tom Dearden to force a mistake and left Smith wondering how the No.6 hadn't been pinged for his late hit. "That’s a penalty every day of the week," Smith said as replays showed Luai's off the ball tackle on Cherry-Evans. And were equally stunned.

Minutes after Luai's hit on Cherry-Evans he was in the thick of things again after a knock-on from Queensland and a head pat from Liam Martin sparked a melee. Luai got himself into the thick of it, holding both Walsh and Cherry-Evans at the same time with a massive grin on his face, leading Johns to chip in: "Well, if you want the promotions for Game 3, here it is,” Johns said.

While the Panthers five-eighth gave it to the Maroons in Game 2, it is far from the first time he has done it. Luai is notorious for getting under the skin of Queenslanders throughout his Origin career.

Jarome Luai in State of Origin 2.
Jarome Luai gets into the face of Reece Walsh and Daly Cherry-Evans in Game 1.

He has been public enemy No.1 north of the border since 2021 when in the Blues' 50-6 win he stood over the top of Felise Kaufusi and yelled in celebration. The following year he also stood over an unconscious Selwyn Cobbo just two minutes into the 2022 series decider.

Last year he again stood over a Maroons player, this time Cherry-Evans despite being on the losing side. And it has seen the Panthers five-eighth adopt the villain tag from Queensland fans. He is sure to be met with a chorus of boos when NSW travel to Queensland for this year's Origin decider which is sure to be a fiery clash.