|New South Wales (18) 34|
|Tries: Walker, Tedesco, Addo-Carr 2, Wighton, Tupou Goals: Cleary 5|
|Queensland (4) 10|
|Tries: Coates, Papali’i Goals: Holmes|
New South Wales ensured the 2020 State of Origin series will go to a decider in Brisbane with a dominant win over Queensland in Sydney.
Xavier Coates’ try put the Maroons in front but Blues roared back with Cody Walker, James Tedesco and Josh Addo-Carr scores to lead 18-4 at the break.
Jack Wighton and Daniel Tupou forced their way in before Josh Papali’i added a try to give hope to the Maroons.
It was short-lived, as Addo-Carr got to Walker’s kick to restore the advantage.
The all-important third game will take place at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday, 18 November, where the Maroons will also have a partisan crowd in attendance.
The tension and aggression was clear to see, typified by an old-fashioned all-in scuffle which ended with Payne Haas of New South Wales and Queensland’s Tino Fa’asuamaleaui sent to the sin-bin in the second half.
While Queensland were hampered by the very early loss of their mercurial stand-off Cameron Munster after a shot from Tyson Frizell, this one-sided result was all about the Blues.
Brad Fittler’s side produced a peerless response to game one’s second-half collapse in Adelaide, back on home turf at ANZ Stadium.
Nathan Cleary, the subject of speculation about his selection before the game, delivered a note-perfect performance with passing and kicking from hand, while skipper Tedesco was everywhere.
Haas and Daniel Saifiti, aided by Dale Finucane off the bench, set the tone with relentless carries, Jake Trbojevic tackled relentlessly, cutting down Maroons with textbook technique.
Veteran Queensland coach Wayne Bennett was heralded for a half-time team talk in game one which turned the game but any rousing dressing room chat failed to deliver on this occasion.
His side were unable to control the Blues’ ruck speed and slickness of ball movement, while Coates – the star of the first game – had a tough time being peppered by high kicks from Walker and Cleary.
New South Wales: Tedesco; Tupou, Gutherson, Wighton, Addo-Carr; Walker, Cleary; Saifiti, Cook, Haas, Crichton, Frizell, Trbojevic
Interchanges: Finucane, Paulo, Brown, Yeo
Queensland: Holmes; Coates, Capewell, Gagai, Sami; Munster, Cherry-Evans; Lui, Friend, Papali’i, Kaufusi, Su’a, Fa’asuamaleaui
Interchanges: Hunt, Collins, Arrow, Fotuaika