New South Wales have inflicted an historic, humiliating series defeat on Queensland in another Origin bloodbath on Sunday night.
After Queensland stole the 2020 series with one of the most magical upsets in Australian sport, the Blues have put the Maroons back in their place with a 160-minute rugby league masterclass.
It was perfect revenge for Blues coach Brad Fittler’s team.
Having destroyed Queensland 50-6 in the series opener in Townsville, the Blues compounded the pain with a 26-0 win in Game 2 at Suncorp Stadium.
The extraordinary records achieved by the combined 76-6 scoreline across the two games, include:
* The first time Queensland have been held scoreless at Suncorp Stadium.
* The third time ever Queensland have failed to score in an Origin game – the first time since 1994.
* The first time a team have wrapped up a series 2-0 by winning both games in the opposition’s home state; and
*The 70-point series deficit is the largest in the history of State of Origin.
Queensland were nowhere near it – and the post mortem will get ugly.
There were tears at fulltime with Maroons captain Daly Cherry-Evans struggling to find words when interviewed on the field.
A shattered Cherry-Evans took deep breaths in between some of his words as he paid credit to New South Wales.
“Yeah. Can’t believe it’s over,” he said.
“Mate, they were just too good. Scoreline reflected that. Mate, such a shame.”
He went on to tell Maroons legend Darren Lockyer: “They had all the answers and we didn’t have the answers, mate. It’s a shame it’s all done.”
The Blues broke Queensland’s back with three tries in 20 minutes mid-way through the first half and they never took their foot off the Maroons’ necks for the rest of the game in a complete performance.
Latrell Mitchell was the chief destroyer early, while Tom Trbojevic, James Tedesco and Cameron Murray were also brilliant.
While the Maroons’ attack was blistering, the Maroons’ was broken.
The back five of Tedesco, Brian To’o, Mitchell, Trbojevic and Addo-Carr was described by Blues legend Andrew Johns as the best NSW has ever seen.
It was the polar opposite in the Maroons’ shed. Even with Cherry-Evans and Cameron Munster, Queensland never threatened. Their only sniffs at points came on the back of small NSW errors or lucky bounces. Even then, the Maroons couldn’t convert.
The home team’s misery was summed up by a passage of play where Valentine Holmes put through a grubber early in the tackle count – and caught his teammates by surprise with winger Xavier Coates having to come from miles away to try and chase it down.
It was a nightmare for debutant Origin coach Paul Green.
There are already questions about his future after overseeing such a disaster.
Game 3 is scheduled for July 14 at Stadium Australia, however, the NRL is considering moving the game as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
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