After Queensland’s eight-year domination, New South Wales finally won bragging rights in the Rugby League’s State of Origin.
Wednesday night’s 6-4 win at Sydney’s Olympic Park was as tense as the score line suggested but that mattered little as Laurie Daley’s men celebrated their first Origin series win since 2005.
The match itself failed to reach the blockbusting levels of the first game in Brisbane three weeks ago, where the Blues prevailed by a similarly narrow 12-8 margin.
In Sydney, two Jonathan Thurston penalties had given the Maroons a slender 4-0 lead, making him the highest points scorer in Origin history. NSW battled and defended well to ensure the gap did not become insurmountable.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, Bulldogs halfback Trent Hodkinson scored the only try of the night with a delicate feint, swerve and strong acceleration to the line. He even had the presence of mind to ground the ball as centrally as possible for the following conversion attempt.
Despite the immense pressure Hodkinson himself kicked over the all-important conversion.
The Blues nervously held on to withstand heavy Queensland pressure who, in turn, did themselves few favours with late errors.
Cue the referee’s final whistle and cue fireworks at Sydney harbour—after nine long years, Origin had finally headed back Down Under to New South Wales.
Paul Gallen was named as Man of the Match
NSW coach Laurie Daley has now become only the second man in NSW history to win an Origin series as a player, a captain, and a coach.
Categories: General Sport