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Deja vu Blues: Stuart's men crank it up after Cronk's sin-binning puts Carney in cruise control

NSW 16 Queensland 12 (Series tied 1-1)

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Blues crush the Maroons in Origin leveller

A pumped New South Wales has defeated Queensland 16-12 in a thrilling State of Origin game II in Sydney.

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THIS was deja vu, just with blue this time. So much of a classic Origin encounter bore resemblances to the first clash of the series. But on this occasion, the key decisions - the sin-binning of Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk and a contentious video referee call a few minutes later - went the Blues' way. The other significant differences? Todd Carney came alive when it counted, and the Blues dug like they rarely have before, making the five-eighth's work worth the wait.

MATCH STATS

Coach Ricky Stuart could have dropped Carney after game one. Ghosts of NSW past might have done just that. And after the five-eighth showed some nerves in the first half, Stuart might have been wondering why he didn't. But Carney is one of those players who is capable of turning a game on a single play.

Todd Carney celebrates with Blues supporters after the game. Click for more photos

State of Origin 2 - June 13th, 2012

State of Origin part two. Queensland have won 6 in a row and NSW want to end the streak. Can NSW even the series or will Queensland make it 7 long years in the blue state? Pictures by Steve Christo, Brendan Esposito, Anthony Johnson and Wolter Peeters. Selected images available at www.fairfaxsyndication.com.au. Photo: Anthony Johnson

Carney got himself back into the game - then was dragged out of it - by Cronk. But Cronk was dismissed for 10 minutes. By the time he returned, the match had turned. Just a minute after the decision - allowing Carney to level the scores with a penalty - Carney brushed off Ashley Harrison and swept downfield, finding fullback Brett Stewart.

After officiating had dominated the fall-out from game one to such an extent, it was predictable that the Blues would get a 50-50 call - and a significant one - in their favour. It came when halfback Johnathan Thurston was ruled to have stripped the ball from Blues winger Jarryd Hayne; Josh Morris picked up the crumbs and scored.

And so after dominating the match for so long, and somehow trailing at half-time, the Blues suddenly occupied more than just the moral high ground. They led and led well. The Maroons, who are so at home when their opponents feel comfortable, hit back as they invariably do. Greg Inglis scored and the Blues were nervous. But they held firm; Michael Jennings somehow forced the ball out of Brent Tate's grasp when the winger was about to fall over the line. It could have all been so different too.

For a while this looked like the twin brother of game one; NSW dominance but not able to make it count. They led from the front, and did so from the beginning. The NSW defence arrived en masse for their side's first defensive effort of the night. Maroons No.1 Billy Slater had been in the right spot to take Carney's kick on the full, yet they worked Slater over to the point where the ball appeared to be squeezed out of his grasp. The officials waved play on.

In game one. For all the spit and grunt and grit, the Blues could not take full advantage on the scoreboard. The Blues were hustling and harassing, but winning between the two 20-metre lines is pointless when, well, the team. They eventually scored, when Brett Stewart grounded the ball despite the presence of Slater - who, to continue the similarities, was finding the ball slippery - and Thurston. Carney, again, missed the conversion from about the same spot as his first in game one. He was finding it difficult to get involved in the game, and again could not even rely on his right boot for some comfort.

It was, somehow, more brutal than the first encounter. Players were going down and struggling to get up; first Brent Tate, then Paul Gallen, then Slater …

Cronk's kicking game was keeping his team in it. The Melbourne player, instead of following Jack Gibson's old advice of kicking it to the seagulls, was instead kicking it to the corner posts. And more often than not, he was finding them, pinning the Blues. And then Cronk, who was far more involved than he had been in game one, suddenly made them pay.

He hoisted the ball, high enough to get the doubts in Akuila Uate's head bubbling away, and when the winger's leg finally twitched to signal than he would make a play for the ball, it was too late. The ball bounced, Ashley Harrison was first to it and prop Ben Hannant slid over next to the left post.

Their heads dropped, but the Blues would prevail. A decider awaits.

NSW 16 (B Stewart 2, J Morris tries; T Carney 2 goals) bt QUEENSLAND 12 (B Hannant, G Inglis tries; J Thurston 2 goals) at ANZ Stadium. Referees: Tony Archer, Ben Cummins. Crowd: 83,110.

Related Coverage

Greg Bird. State of Origin 2 - June 13th, 2012

State of Origin part two. Queensland have won 6 in a row and NSW want to end the streak. Can NSW even the series or will Queensland make it 7 long years in the blue state? Pictures by Steve Christo, Brendan Esposito, Anthony Johnson and Wolter Peeters. Selected images available at www.fairfaxsyndication.com.au.

Blues crush the Maroons (Thumbnail) Blues crush the Maroons in Origin leveller

A pumped New South Wales has defeated Queensland 16-12 in a thrilling State of Origin game II in Sydney.

Blues force decider

Live: NSW v Qld

Bin there, done that - but this time Blues get extra man

FOR the second time in as many games this series, a sin-binning turned the game on its head. In game one, NSW paid the price for Michael Jennings's ill-discipline, but, last night, they benefited from playing 10 minutes with the extra man, capitalising on the Cooper Cronk sin-binning to send the series to Suncorp Stadium for a decider.

Battle-hardened NSW must lift again to win war: Gallen

VICTORIOUS captain Paul Gallen is adamant NSW must improve to break Queensland's six-year stranglehold of State of Origin in Brisbane next month despite courageously hanging on by four points at ANZ Stadium last night.

Farah tackles his heart out while mother fights own battle

NSW hooker Robbie Farah played a starring role in NSW's 16-12 victory last night without knowing his mother Sonya had again taken ill before the match.

Five things we learnt from last night's game

The talking points from Origin II.

Player ratings - NSW

Robbie Farah lead the way in the NSW team's player ratings.

Player ratings - Queensland

Nate Myles leads the ratings for the 17 Maroon players.

Blues send Queensland home beaten, bruised and bloody

Beaten and beaten up, Queensland are retreating to Suncorp Stadium for an Origin decider nursing a squad sent through the gauntlet by a brutal Blues outfit convinced the sun has set on an unprecedented epoch of Maroon dominance.

No apologies for play that saw Cronk sin-binned

Cooper Cronk saved one try but would be forced to watch NSW score two. But the Queensland halfback, as well as his coach and teammates, made no apology for the sin-binning that turned the tide in last night’s Origin in Sydney

Related Coverage

HuffPost Australia

NRL Season 2016

Round 1
Thu, 03 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs BRI 20:05Pirtek
Fri, 04 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 20:05BO
Sat, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs PEN 15:00GIO
WST vs NZW 17:30CSS
NQL vs CRO 19:301300
Sun, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs SOU 16:00AS
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus
Mon, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs STG 19:00AAMI
Fri, 09 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 10 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
vs 00:00TBA
Sun, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Thu, 10 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN vs CBY 20:05Pepp
Fri, 11 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs NZW 20:05SUN
Sat, 12 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs SYD 15:00GIO
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:30Pirtek
Sun, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CRO vs STG 16:00Shark Park
MEL vs GCT 18:30AAMI
Mon, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs MAN 19:00VAS
Fri, 16 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 17 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Thu, 17 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL vs SYD 20:051300
Fri, 18 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY vs PAR 20:05ANZ
Sat, 19 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs CBR 17:30HS
PEN vs BRI 19:30Pepp
GCT vs WST 21:30Cbus
Sun, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
STG vs SOU 16:00SCG
Mon, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CRO 19:00BO
Fri, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
Sat, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 25 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU vs CBY 16:00ANZ
BRI vs NQL 20:05SUN
Sat, 26 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBR vs GCT 17:30GIO
SYD vs MAN 19:30AS
Sun, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG vs PEN 16:00WIN
Mon, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
WST vs PAR 16:00ANZ
CRO vs MEL 19:00Shark Park
Sun, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
vs 00:00TBA
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Thu, 31 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs SOU 20:05BO
Fri, 01 AprTimes shown AEDT
GCT vs BRI 20:05Cbus
Sat, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
MEL vs NEW 15:00AAMI
WST vs CRO 17:30CSS
NQL vs STG 19:301300
Sun, 03 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
PAR vs PEN 16:00Pirtek
Mon, 04 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CBR 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Thu, 07 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 19:50SUN
Fri, 08 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs SYD 19:50ANZ
Sat, 09 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBR 15:00Pirtek
NZW vs MAN 17:30MSS
PEN vs NQL 19:30Pepp
Sun, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs GCT 14:00Shark Park
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
MEL vs CBY 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Thu, 14 AprTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PAR 19:50BO
Fri, 15 AprTimes shown AEST
NQL vs SOU 19:501300
Sat, 16 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT vs STG 15:00Cbus
CBY vs NZW 17:30Westpac Stadium
BRI vs NEW 19:30SUN
Sun, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 14:00GIO
WST vs MEL 16:00VAS
Mon, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs PEN 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 22 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SOU 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs GCT 15:00ANZ
CBR vs WST 17:30GIO
NQL vs PAR 19:301300
Sun, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs PEN 16:00Shark Park
Mon, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MAN 14:00HS
STG vs SYD 16:00AS
MEL vs NZW 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Thu, 28 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs WST 19:50ANZ
PAR vs CBY 19:50ANZ
Sat, 30 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 15:00Carrington Park
SYD vs NEW 17:30CCS
MAN vs NQL 19:30BO
Sun, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 12:00MSS
GCT vs MEL 14:00Cbus
CRO vs BRI 16:00Shark Park
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Thu, 12 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 19:50Jubilee Oval
Fri, 13 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SOU 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 14 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs NZW 15:00AMI Stadium
MEL vs NQL 17:30SUN
MAN vs BRI 19:30SUN
Sun, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
WST vs CBY 16:00ANZ
Mon, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SYD 19:00Cbus
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Thu, 19 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:50ANZ
Fri, 20 MayTimes shown AEST
NQL vs BRI 19:501300
Sat, 21 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NEW 15:00CSS
NZW vs CBR 17:30Yarrow Stadium
CRO vs MAN 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs GCT 14:00Pepp
CBY vs SYD 16:00ANZ
Mon, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs MEL 19:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 27 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs WST 19:50SUN
Sat, 28 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO
Mon, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs PAR 19:00HS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 03 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MAN 19:50GIO
Sat, 04 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs BRI 15:00MSS
NQL vs NEW 17:301300
MEL vs PEN 19:30AAMI
Sun, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WST 16:00AS
SOU vs GCT 18:30nib Stadium
Mon, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs CRO 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Thu, 09 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBR 19:50SUN
Fri, 10 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:50ANZ
Sat, 11 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs NZW 15:00HS
PAR vs GCT 17:30TIO
SYD vs MEL 19:30AS
Sun, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 16:00BO
Mon, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
CRO vs NQL 19:00Shark Park
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 17 JunTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:50ANZ
Sat, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs MEL 19:30WIN
Sun, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 16:00MSS
Mon, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 24 JunTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:50Pepp
Sat, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs STG 15:00HS
CRO vs NZW 17:30Shark Park
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBR 14:00Cbus
MEL vs WST 16:00AAMI
Mon, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NQL vs MAN 19:001300
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Thu, 30 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CBY 19:50AS
Fri, 01 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 19:50SUN
Sat, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs GCT 15:00MSS
WST vs PEN 17:30ANZ
CRO vs PAR 19:30Shark Park
Sun, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 14:00GIO
SOU vs NQL 16:00Barlow Park
Mon, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs STG 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 08 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs SYD 19:50Pirtek
Sat, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:30ANZ
Sun, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CRO 16:00Pepp
Mon, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 19:00GIO
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 15 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs GCT 19:50Jubilee Oval
Sat, 16 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
SOU vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
NEW vs MEL 14:00HS
PEN vs PAR 16:00Pepp
Mon, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Thu, 21 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBY 19:501300
Fri, 22 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:50SUN
Sat, 23 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
CRO vs NEW 14:00Shark Park
STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
Mon, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
SOU vs MAN 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Wed, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PEN 22:00MSS
Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
CBY vs STG 00:00ANZ
GCT vs CRO 00:00Cbus
PAR vs WST 00:00ANZ
SOU vs CBR 00:00ANZ
MAN vs NEW 00:00BO
NQL vs MEL 00:001300
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 04 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs BRI 00:00WIN
PAR vs MAN 00:00Pirtek
CRO vs CBR 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
MEL vs SOU 00:00AAMI
GCT vs NZW 00:00Cbus
WST vs NQL 00:00VAS
PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 00:00ANZ
BRI vs PAR 00:00SUN
WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
STG vs CRO 00:00Jubilee Oval
NEW vs PEN 00:00HS
SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
SYD vs STG 00:00AS
NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
NQL vs NZW 00:001300
MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
NQL vs GCT 00:001300
MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
View All Fixtures

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