NSW triumph as Maroons held to embarrassing State of Origin first

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·Sports Reporter
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Josh Addo-Carr celebrates after scoring a try in State of Origin game two.
Josh Addo-Carr celebrates after scoring a try with Jarome Luai with the Blues going on to win game two of the State of Origin series. (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

New South Wales have held Queensland scoreless at Suncorp Stadium in a stunning display to secure the 2021 State of Origin trophy.

The Blues took the lead in the first 10 minutes and never looked back, with an irrepressible offensive display matched by their iron defence in the 26-0 victory.

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While the likes of Tom Trbojevic, Josh Addo-Carr and Latrell Mitchell provided plenty of scoring highlights, it was the desperation on defence from the likes of Brian To'o that summed up the Blues' desperation.

To'o's effort to disrupt Kyle Feldt and prevent what looked to be a sure Maroons try in the final 10 minutes of the game epitomised the one-sided affair.

Queensland struggled to generate any flow and rarely threatened to score - with Feldt's late run and a diving Dane Gagai try waved off by the bunker.

Trbojevic had an incredible try-saving tackle of his own, capping a stellar defensive performance in enemy territory for the Blues.

The loss marked the first time Queensland had been held scoreless on home territory in State of Origin history.

NSW's win also marked the first time either side had won the State of Origin series by winning both games in the rival state.

After the Maroons made a fast start Mitchell's first big play came when he pushed Queensland fullback Valentine Holmes back into the in-goal area to win his team a repeat set.

Mitchell's individual brilliance was again to the fore for NSW's opening try.

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Using brute strength, Mitchell won the ball in a one-on-one strip against Queensland's Kyle Feldt in great field position and moments later the Blues swept the ball right for Josh Addo-Carr to score.

In the 26th minute, the Blues were inside their own 20 defending a full set against the Queenslanders when Mitchell swooped to intercept a Valentine Holmes pass and then sprint 85 metres to send NSW on their way.

There was still time before the halftime siren for one more big play, this time in defence.

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With the Maroons threatening again to get on the board, Mitchell stopped opposite number Dane Gagai dead with a crunching tackle before bundling the Queensland centre into touch.

With that play, NSW had secured an 18-0 halftime lead which more than set the platform for Brad Fittler's team to avenge last year's shock series defeat.

NSW dominate to secure one-sided State of Origin victory

Now a cumulative scoreline of 76-6 leaves Brad Fittler's side with wiggle room in July 14's third game to eclipse the previous-best 62-point differential NSW accrued in a 3-0 series victory in 2000.

"We took into account what it means to us, defence," five-eighth Jarome Luai told Channel Nine post-game.

"I think we showed that tonight; we defended for each other, hopefully we've done the Blues jersey proud."

A last-minute injury to much-hyped Maroons debutant Reece Walsh on Saturday was quickly trumped by the eligibility concerns that saw his replacement Ronaldo Mulitalo withdrawn on game-day.

It certainly didn't bother the Blues though as they weathered an intense first 10 minutes then exploited a tiring Maroons pack who weren't helped by their disjointed backline.

NSW scored three tries and bombed another in a decisive 21-minute period to blow Queensland away then desperately snuffed out the Maroons' best efforts when their own offence dried up in the second half.

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans was devastated after the game two defeat. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans was devastated after the game two defeat. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)

"I can't believe it's over; they were just too good and the scoreline reflected that," Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans said.

"We'll never know (if the late selection dramas cost us); we did the best with what we had out there.

"We didn't miss the jump, they were too good and they had all the answers and we had none of the answers, it's a shame."

The Maroons looked lost when they did get a peek at the Blues' line, their attack clunky and slow as halves Daly Cherry-Evans and Cameron Munster struggled to create.

It cost them too, Valentine Holmes pushing a pass that found the left fingertips of Mitchell, who raced almost 90 metres for a 12-0 lead.

More to come

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