Almanac Rugby League – State of Origin Game 2 – the aftermath


In the end, it’s usually the team that takes it’s opportunities when the big moments present themselves that comes out on top, especially in an arena such as State of Origin where the margins between success and failure are so, so slim. And that most certainly was the case in Game 2 of the State of Origin series played last night in Sydney which saw NSW win 18-14.


But in this case, it was actually in a reverse sense of that theory. Queensland had more than enough opportunities in the second half to snatch the game away from NSW but, when the big moments presented themselves, the Maroons either took poor options or panicked and blew their chances. They got too wide too often and were either bundled into touch or forced to throw desperate passes, some of which ended up in NSW hands. That Ben Hunt kicked on the third tackle (and what a total shocker it was!) when the Blues were down to 12 men was beyond comprehension. Will Chambers did little better a few moments later as he went too wide and had to rush an attempted kick. Both of these latter clangers gifted NSW the ball and seven tackles to force the play back deep into Queensland territory. Can you imagine Cooper Cronk or Cameron Smith taking such poor options? On other occasions, the Maroons gave away silly penalties to allow NSW relief and better field position.


Full credit to the Blues defence when it was called on to save the game. This was always going to be one of the big questions in this game – could they hold on when the blowtorch was applied? Having looked lost on their right hand side in the first half, they stood up to the test when it mattered and won those decisive moments. This, perhaps, was the most telling point to come out of the match.


NSW were particularly well served by Cordner, Maloney and Jake Trbojevic while Cook, Mitchell, Cleary and Frizell were solid. Tedesco was well contained and outplayed by his opposite, Billy Slater, particularly in attack. Queensland’s best was probably Munster with Slater, Holmes and Gagai always dangerous. Ponga did well as a small body in midfield and gave glimpses of what we can expect in the years to come. Hess had a much better game and Arrow lost no fans. A couple Maroon veterans may have played their last game.


Looking ahead to Game 3, most interest will focus on the make-up of the Queensland team. They weren’t too far off last night but the time may well have come to usher in a new era, even if it means a tough year or two ahead. From a NSW perspective, can these youngsters now go to Lang Park, maintain their advantage and show that they just might be the real deal or will they be overawed and overcome by the heat of The Cauldron?


This was one of the better Origin matches in recent times, a fast, running and very willing game that played out until the final whistle. If anything, NSW had a slight rub of the green with a couple of decisions but Queensland can’t blame that. They were better than in Game 1 but lost this game because they failed to take their chances in the key moments.



Ian Hauser plays a great game from the comfort of his lounge chair. He’s even better at playing with words. You can check out his editing services here.




About Ian Hauser

A relaxed, Noosa-based retiree with a (very) modest sporting CV. A loyal Queenslander, especially when it comes to cricket and rugby league. Enjoys travel, coffee and cake, reading, and has been known to appreciate a glass or three of wine. One of Footy Almanac's online editors who enjoys the occasional editing opportunity to assist aspiring writers.


  1. That was a cracker of a game, Ian.
    I thoroughly enjoyed it.
    And didn’t mind the time slot either.

Leave a Comment