State of Origin 2014: New South Wales 6-4 Queensland

By Matt NewsumBBC Sport
Trent Hodkinson
Hodkinson scored all New South Wales' points to clinch their State of Origin series win

Trent Hodkinson's late converted try sealed a first State of Origin series win since 2005 for New South Wales with victory over Queensland in game two.

Hodkinson crossed to the left of the posts with seven minutes remaining and then landed the conversion to give Blues an unassailable series lead.

Queensland had led thanks to two penalty goals by Johnathan Thurston and had a try by Sam Thaiday ruled out.

Laurie Daley's Blues can secure a 3-0 series win in Brisbane on 9 July.

Neither side played their best rugby league in an attritional game which flared up continually, with Josh Reynolds and Anthony Watmough both placed on report.

However, Blues, who won the first game of the series 12-8, showed the grit and determination to come from behind in an intensely physical encounter.

It took almost quarter of an hour for the first points, when Thurston kicked for two to ease Queensland ahead after Greg Bird infringed, but the action was punctuated by a number of flare-ups.

Thurston then became the all-time leading Origin points scorer - surpassing his coach Mal Meninga to move to 162 - when he added another two-pointer after a James Tamou forearm to Nate Myles in the ruck.

The Blues tried their best to force their way over but were held up and the one genuine moment of quality in a dogged first 40 minutes came when Maroons centre Justin Hodges thundered onto an inside pass from Thurston that left the New South Wales defence wide open, but Josh Reynolds recovered to kick a grubber dead seconds before the hooter.

There was no let-up in the physicality after the break as Myles was taken up and over the horizontal by James Tamou and Anthony Watmough inside the first set to give Queensland a penalty.

Both sides coughed up possession in good areas and it almost proved damaging when Thaiday had a try chalked off for a loose carry, while Brent Tate limped off to add to Meninga's injury worries.

Hodkinson finally broke Queensland spirit when he dummied his way through from Robbie Farah's pass, and the fractious finish saw Thurston and Reynolds go head-to-head as tensions rose.

Queensland pushed one last time but as the hooter went Jarryd Hayne rushed to the Blues fans behind the posts to celebrate the end of nine years of hurt in Origin series.

Wednesday's line-ups

New South Wales: Hayne; Hopoate, Dugan, Jennings, Tupou; Reynolds, Hodkinson; Gallen, Farah, Woods, Hoffman, Scott, Bird.

Replacements: Tamou, Watmough, Merrin, Lewis.

Queensland: Slater; Tate, Hodges, Inglis, Boyd; Thurston, Cherry-Evans; Scott, Smith, Myles, Guerra, Gillett, Thaiday.

Replacements: Te'o, Lillyman, McQueen, Taylor.

Att: 83,421.

Referee: Shayne Hayne (Australia)

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