The only good news for Laurie Daley’s NSW is that the decider will be played at ANZ Sradium in Sydney – other than that they’ll be licking their wounds.
Mal Meninga’s lads were too good.The Maroons got off to a flyer when Cooper Cronk put Sam Thaiday through in the second minute – so fired up, they didn’t bother with celebrations.
With the Blues starved of the ball and slaughtered when they got it, the next try was a matter if when, not if.And within 18 minutes it was 12-0 after some trademark Jonathan Thurston wizardry led to Darius Boyd crossing over.
A penalty knocked over by an on-target Thurston left the Blues happy to get a rest at half-time, despite the 14 point deficit.
Little changed after the break and the hosts took just eight minutes to cross again through Boyd.NSW showed some fight, unfortunately again it was with their fists as Trent Merrin took exception to Paul Gallen being pushed off the play the ball by Brent Tate.
Merrin unleashed on Tate and they both ended up in the sin bin, along with Greg Bird and Justin Hodges, who were unsurprisingly the next brawlers in. This left the match with football numbers, 11 on 11.
Rest assured there’ll be plenty of chat from both sides about that. Here it is.
With room to play with owing to the lack of players on the field, Cronk got the ball to Greg Inglis out wide and the big Rabbitohs flyer did it easy to make it 22-0 – 24-0 when Thurston’s routine was complete.
An try came out of the blue, literally, for NSW through a deft kick from Robbie Farah that stopped in the in goal area and was pounce on by Josh Morris.
James Maloney made it a six-pointer for NSW but another penalty to QLD converted by Thurston meant to match ended 26-6.
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