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The most eagerly anticipated Wednesday night of the year had arrived as the crowd packed into the Townsville Queensland Country Bank Stadium, TV’s across the Antipodes were switched on, cold tinnies were opened, and the World settled back to be royally entertained by the opening State of Origin encounter between New South Wales and Queensland as the 2021 series got underway.

Queensland regained the shield in 2020 after losing out to New South Wales in the previous two seasons but it was the Blues who were strong favourites with the bookies, despite the Maroons being at home in front of a deeply partisan crowd.

There was only one real certainty, it was going to be a sensational game.

An early penalty for a shepherd by Daly Cherry-Evans gave the Blues the perfect opportunity to open the scoring and on nine minutes Nathan Cleary slotted the ball between the uprights for a 2-0 lead.

An obstruction by Kyle Feldt on Addo-Carr gifted the Blues a set of six just ten from the Maroons line and two plays into the set Tom ‘Turbo’ Trbojevic ran the angle to go in from ten metres out. Cleary made no mistake with the conversion, the Blues 8-0 ahead on nineteen minutes.

The Blues turned defence into attack on twenty-two with a sensational Damien Cook break before, on the next play, Jarome Luai found Brian To’o in the clear to go the last ten and dive over in the corner. Latrell Mitchell took over the conversion duties as Cleary received treatment to a cut cheek and made sure despite the difficultly of the kick.

Three minutes later and To’o was in again for a short range try off a long miss-out pass from Tariq Sims as Queensland struggled to get into the game. The Blues were in scintillating form and when Cleary swung the touchline coversion between the posts it was 20-0 and already slipping away from the Maroons, the crowd eerily quiet.

Six minutes from the interval the Maroons finally got on the board when a Cam Munster pass found Kurt Capewell who evaded the tackle of Tom Trbojevic before going in from twenty metres. Valentine Holmes added the conversion from wide to reduce the arrears and give Queensland some hope.

Just under nine minutes were on the second half clock when Mitchell collected a delightful Trbojevic grubber kick to dive over from two metres out. Cleary added the conversion to give the Blues a 26-6 lead.

NSW were carving Queensland apart. On fifty-eight a great break from Luai saw him make forty metres before quick hands from Mitchell into the path of Trbojevic for his to cross for his second of the night. When Cleary added the conversion for 32-6 on the hour mark it was game over and now down to the size of the margin.

Mitchell completed his brace on sixty-one when a Cleary kick was claimed by the centre to evade the tacklers and go over. Another sensational Cleary conversion made it 38-6.

It had been a devastating five-minute spell when Saifiti crashed over under the sticks as the Maroons defence were unable to defend their line. Cleary added his seventh goal of the game as the home side visibly tired.

Magical hands from the Blues brought up the fifty. A Cleary break and some delightful passing, notably a backhand pass from James Tedesco went to Tom Trbojevic to complete his hat-trick. Cleary added the conversion for 50-6.

Despite having the support of ninety-five percent of the crowd, this was a nightmare of an evening for the Maroons as they were methodically dismantled by a Blues side which was running lava hot. The backs shared seven tries between them in a fifty-point haul which will have the Queensland players dreading the second match in a couple of weeks’ time. The Blues were simply awesome and more than lived up to the bookies ‘favourites’ tag.

Queensland: Holmes (G), Coates, Capewell (T), Gagai, Feldt, Munster, Cherry-Evans, Welch, Grant, Fa’asuamaleaui, Kaufusi, Fifita, Arrow. Subs: Brimson, Su’A, Fotuaika, Ofahengaue. 18th Man: Hunt.

New South Wales: Tedesco, To’o (2T), Mitchell (2T, G), Trbojevic T (3T), Addo-Carr, Luai, Cleary (8G), Saifiti (T), Cook, Trbojevic J, Murray, Sims, Yeo. Subs: Wighton, Paulo, Haas, Martin. 18th Man: Koroisau.

Half-Time: 6-20.

Full-Time: 6-50.

Referee: Gerard Sutton.

Score Progression: 0-2, 0-6, 0-8, 12-0, 14-0, 18-0, 20-0, 4-20, 6-20 : HT : 6-24, 6-26, 6-30, 6-32, 6-36, 6-38, 6-42, 6-44, 6-48, 6-50 : FT.




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Posted by RLFANS News Hound on Wed 9th Jun 2021 1:06 PM | Views : 1643 | Replies : 0 | BACK TO STORIES
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Mon 14th Jun
NRL
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Canterbury28-6St.George
Sun 13th Jun
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NRL RND: 14 NZ Warriors16-42Melbourne
NRL RND: 14 Parramatta40-12Wests
CH RND: 9 Dewsbury12-56Toulouse
CH RND: 9 Featherstone44-0Bradford
CH RND: 9 Halifax30-6York
CH RND: 9 Swinton30-36Newcastle
CH RND: 9 Whitehaven20-24Batley
CH RND: 9 Widnes22-24LondonB
L1 RND: 6 Coventry12-30Workington
L1 RND: 6 Keighley70-12West Wales
L1 RND: 6 Crusaders0-68Doncaster
Sat 12th Jun
SL RND: 9 Leigh30-36Catalans
NRL RND: 14 Gold Coast34-35Sydney
NRL RND: 14 Souths24-10Newcastle
NRL RND: 14 Canberra38-16Brisbane
CH RND: 9 Oldham28-32Sheffield
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This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
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Melbourne 14 472 178 294 24
Penrith 14 418 133 285 24
Parramatta 14 400 224 176 22
Souths 13 341 282 59 20
Sydney 13 379 223 156 18
Manly 13 315 282 33 14
 
St.George 14 299 312 -13 12
NQL Cowboys 13 264 383 -119 12
Cronulla 13 244 298 -54 10
Gold Coast 14 318 380 -62 10
Canberra 13 257 321 -64 10
NZ Warriors 13 281 347 -66 10
Wests 14 292 374 -82 10
Newcastle 14 231 366 -135 10
Brisbane 14 232 436 -204 6
Canterbury 13 162 366 -204 4
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
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Catalans 9 268 142 126 16 188.73 88.89
St.Helens 8 206 70 136 14 294.29 87.50
Wigan 8 158 136 22 14 116.18 87.50
Warrington 9 302 157 145 13 192.36 72.22
Hull FC 9 179 143 36 11 125.17 61.11
Hull KR 9 223 204 19 10 109.31 55.56
 
Castleford 9 185 232 -47 8 79.74 44.44
Leeds 8 150 136 14 6 110.29 37.50
Huddersfield 8 150 162 -12 6 92.59 37.50
Wakefield 9 163 231 -68 4 70.56 22.22
Salford 9 106 289 -183 2 36.68 11.11
Leigh 9 134 322 -188 0 41.61 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
Betfred Championship 2021 ROUND : 9
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Toulouse 7 347 70 277 14 495.71 100
Featherstone 8 306 76 230 16 402.63 100
Bradford 9 228 216 12 14 105.56 77.78
Batley 8 228 160 68 12 142.50 75
LondonB 9 226 216 10 11 104.63 61.11
Halifax 9 271 135 136 10 200.74 55.56
 
York 9 219 180 39 8 121.67 44.44
Sheffield 9 211 249 -38 8 84.74 44.44
Widnes 9 226 263 -37 7 85.93 38.89
Dewsbury 8 115 227 -112 6 50.66 37.50
Newcastle 8 168 246 -78 5 68.29 31.25
Whitehaven 9 160 278 -118 5 57.55 27.78
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Swinton 9 152 345 -193 0 44.06 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
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Keighley 5 158 135 23 4 117.04 40
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West Wales 5 70 250 -180 0 28 0
This is an inplay table and positions can change as matches are in play.
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LeedsW 3 214 22 192 6 972.73 100
WiganW 3 158 18 140 6 877.78 100
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BradfordW 4 60 180 -120 2 33.33 25
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