Queens­land mas­ter NSW to re­tain Ori­gin se­ries

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Winger Valen­tine Holmes scored a hat-trick of tries as Queens­land dom­i­nated New South Wales to win Aus­tralia’s State of Ori­gin rugby league se­ries de­cider 22-6 in Bris­bane yes­ter­day. The Ma­roons fought back from los­ing the open­ing game of the se­ries 28-4 to mas­ter the Blues four tries to one for their 11th win in the last 12 in­ter­state se­ries. It was a spir­ited per­for­mance from Queens­land, who once again proved su­pe­rior over NSW de­spite miss­ing in­jured Test stars Greg Inglis, Johnathan Thurston, Matt Scott and Dar­ius Boyd.

But in their ab­sence a new breed stepped up with winger Dane Ga­gai named man of the se­ries and debu­tant Cameron Mun­ster ably deputis­ing for Thurston at stand-off in the fi­nal game. In an emo­tional af­ter­math to the vic­tory Thurston, who in­jured his shoul­der in the sec­ond game and kicked the win­ning goal in the fi­nal minute, lifted the Ori­gin shield with skip­per Cameron Smith on the win­ners’ dias.

“That’s a pretty big win for Queens­land, we’ve had so many in­juries, not just com­ing into the se­ries but dur­ing it... gee, that was one hel­luva game,” Queens­land full­back Billy Slater said. The Ma­roons were car­ried to vic­tory by the Mel­bourne Storm club ‘spine’ of Smith at hooker along with his fel­low Storm team­mates Cooper Cronk at scrum-half, Mun­ster at stand-off and Slater at full­back along with Will Cham­bers in the cen­tres.

Queens­land took charge in the first half and could have been more than 12-0 ahead at half­time. Winger Holmes scored both of the Ma­roons tries, go­ing over for his first in the 15th minute after strong work from Slater and Michael Mor­gan. Cronk had a try dis­al­lowed when Brett Mor­ris dis­lodged the ball from his grasp as he dived for the try-line. Cronk set up Holmes’s sec­ond try with a pin­point flat kick to the left wing and an un­guarded Holmes to score after 26 min­utes.

The Ma­roons should have scored again near­ing half-time after re­place­ment for­ward Tim Glasby took play in­side the Blues quar­ter with the de­fence back-ped­alling.

But Smith missed a try-scor­ing op­por­tu­nity when he took the wrong op­tion and Holmes was de­nied a first-half hat-trick of tries. The Blues pulled back to trail by six points when Josh Du­gan plucked a high kick out of the air early in the sec­ond half. But it proved a false dawn with the Ma­roons wrap­ping it up with two more tries to Holmes and prop Jar­rod Wal­lace, with Mun­ster hav­ing a hand in both tries.

Man of the match Smith led the Ma­roons mag­nif­i­cently and was a dan­ger with his darts from dummy half. —AFP

Valen­tine Holmes

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.