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Queensland secure Origin series with a huge win in Brisbane

New South Wales were left to rue missed opportunities as the Maroons won 32-6 to take a 2-0 lead and secure this year’s series. 

Tries from Murray Taulagi, Jeremiah Nanai, Xavier Coates, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and a brace from Valentine Holmes proved crucial; however their defence was equally impressive and really allowed them to get the upper hand in the contest.

After a thriller in game one, the stage was set beautifully for the second match in the series.

Queensland pulled off a historic victory last time out and came into game two looking to secure the series. For the Blues, they needed a win to keep it alive.

Queensland nearly got off to the perfect start. A great move through the backline found Murray Taulagi in space, however New South Wales forced the winger into touch and they survived an early scare. However this early defensive effort came at a heavy cost, as Tom Trbojevic was forced off the pitch due to injury.

A nervy few sets followed, but Queensland broke the deadlock in the ninth minute. Josh Addo-Carr was unable to take a high kick and Valentine Holmes pounced on the loose ball to notch the first points of the evening.

Following the Queensland try, NSW started coming back into the game. Handbags at the ruck earned the Blues a penalty and they had the ball in the Maroons 20, however Mitch Moses’ kick was unable to find its way into NSW hands.

A really good 15 minute period followed for the Blues. They started to dominate possession and territory and it nearly earned them their first try; however Damien Cook was tackled on the last just meters from the line. They came back quickly though, and earned a repeat set in the Maroon’s 20 meter but they couldn’t make it count.

Another opportunity went begging for New South Wales. Stephen Crichton broke from deep in his own half after blocking a kick. The Samoan centre ran down the pitch, however Daly Cherry-Evans pulled off a miracle tackle to stop a certain try. The following set again saw the Blues go close, but they again couldn’t take their chance.

NSW’s failure to take their opportunities came back to haunt them as the Maroons scored shortly after . A break from captain Cherry-Evans, fresh from his defensive heroics, got them into NSW territory. A lovely play through their backline got the ball into Taulagi’s hands and he crossed to get their second of the night.

Holmes split the uprights with the conversion and Queensland led 10-0, which is how the scores stayed at the hooter. Advantage Queensland, but it was all to play for in the second 40.

The first score of the half felt pivotal, and it would be Queensland who would get it. Reece Walsh danced through the defence to get them into enemy territory, and he provided the crucial assist to Holmes who dived over in the corner for his second of the night. He duly converted his own try and they had a 16 point lead. Could the Blues come back into it?

Again the Maroons made the Blues rue their missed chance. Just moments after Taulagi prevented Crichton from going over in the corner, the winger put in a chip kick which bounced up perfectly for Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to dot down for their fourth try of the night.

The Blues finally scored thanks to Damien Cook. The South Sydney hooker, who had played most of the game in the centres, broke through the Queensland line to cross under the sticks for their first try.

This started a mini comeback for the Blues as the momentum started to swing their way; however the Maroons would score the next try. Xavier Coates was the lucky recipient this time as he dived over in acrobatic fashion to restore the Maroons 20 point lead.

The action wouldn’t stop there. A kick from Cameron Munster caused havoc for the NSW defence as Cook and Addo-Carr collided. The ball popped out and Jeremiah Nanai jumped on it to put the final nail in the coffin.

As the game looked to be petering out, there was one last piece of action. Jarome Luai and Reece Walsh both saw red cards for headbuts and Josh Addo-Carr saw yellow for throwing a punch. This put a sour end to an all-time classic at the Suncorp which saw the Maroons secure the Origin series for another year.

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