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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

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NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI 6 vs SOU 36 Report Stats
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 42 vs MAN 12 Report Report Stats
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 24 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs WST 19 Report Stats
NQL 4 vs SYD 28 Report Stats
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 24 vs CBY 18 Report Stats
CRO 20 vs CBR 24 Report Stats
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG 4 vs MEL 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY 32 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
CRO 2 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN 40 vs GCT Report Stats
MAN 24 vs MEL 22 Stats
NQL 14 vs NEW 16 Report Stats
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 34 vs SYD 26 Stats
CBR 6 vs NZW 18 Report Stats
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST 22 vs STG 4 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN 12 vs CBY 16 Report Stats
BRI 44 vs NQL 22 Report Stats
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 29 vs PAR 16 Report Stats
CBR 20 vs STG 22 Report Stats
MEL 36 vs CRO 18 Report Stats
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU 20 vs WST 6 Report Stats
GCT 18 vs NEW 20 Report Stats
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD 20 vs PEN 12 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR 29 vs SOU 16 Report Stats
WST 24 vs CBY 25 Report Stats
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW 26 vs PEN 14 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs GCT 24 Report Stats
STG 12 vs MAN 4 Report Stats
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
NZW 16 vs BRI 24 Report Stats
SYD 34 vs CBR 6 Report Stats
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL 18 vs MEL 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY 17 vs SOU 18 Report Stats
GCT 16 vs BRI 26 Report Stats
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN 16 vs CBR 29 Report Stats
NEW vs STG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD 12 vs CRO 20 Report Stats
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 6 vs WST 22 Report Stats
MEL 30 vs NZW 14 Report Stats
PEN 10 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI 22 vs SYD 18 Report Stats
CRO 22 vs NEW 6 Report Stats
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR 16 vs GCT 38 Report Stats
NZW 32 vs WST 22 Report Stats
PEN 22 vs MAN 12 Report Stats
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR 10 vs MEL 14 Report Stats
STG 31 vs CBY 6 Report Stats
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU 12 vs NQL 30 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 28 vs MAN 16 Report Stats
STG 12 vs BRI 10 Report Stats
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT 32 vs PEN 6 Report Stats
NQL 28 vs NZW 24 Report Stats
MEL 17 vs SYD 16 Report Stats
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST 22 vs CBR 30 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs PAR 28 Report Stats
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO 18 vs SOU 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY 14 vs WST 38 Stats
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
NZW 28 vs GCT 32 Report Stats
NEW 24 vs NQL 26 Report Stats
SYD 12 vs STG 14 Report Stats
MEL 10 vs MAN 12 Stats
BRI 28 vs PAR 16 Stats
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN 26 vs CRO 18 Stats
SOU 22 vs CBR 30 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI 8 vs PEN 5 Report Stats
SYD 36 vs WST 4 Stats
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 56 vs GCT 16 Stats
CRO 16 vs NZW 20 Stats
NQL 23 vs CBY 16 Stats
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 30 vs NEW 10 Stats
PAR 10 vs MEL 28 Stats
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 16 vs STG 10 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY 10 vs SYD 24 Stats
NQL 31 vs BRI 20 Stats
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR 13 vs NZW 17 Report Stats
GCT 22 vs CRO 23 Report Stats
MEL 16 vs SOU 12 Stats
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG 32 vs CBR 18 Report Stats
NEW 22 vs WST 12 Stats
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN 10 vs PEN 11 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU 14 vs PAR 12 Report Stats
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NQL 8 Stats
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR 34 vs CBY 41 Stats
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW 18 vs BRI 31 Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NEW 14:00MSS
STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
SOU vs NZW 17:30nib Stadium
PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs SYD 18:00MSS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs WST 19:45BO
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
GCT vs NZW 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs SYD 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MEL 14:00MSS
CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs NZW 14:00AS
BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs MAN 15:00MSS
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
NZW vs CRO 22:00MSS
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
MAN vs BRI 00:00TBA
WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs STG 22:00MSS
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
CBY vs GCT 00:00TBA
NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
PEN vs NZW 00:00Pepper Stadium
CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
NZW vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
WST vs NZW 00:00CSS
GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
CBY vs NZW 00:00ANZ
NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
Melbourne Storm 10 7 3 0 16
Brisbane Broncos 11 8 3 0 16
St George-Illawarra Dragons 10 7 3 0 16
North Queensland Cowboys 11 8 3 0 16
Sydney Roosters 10 5 5 0 12
South Sydney Rabbitohs 11 6 5 0 12
Warriors 10 5 5 0 12
Penrith Panthers 10 5 5 0 12
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