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Qld lead NSW 8-4 at halftime

Queensland withstood a relentless NSW charge to cling to an 8-4 halftime lead in the State of Origin decider at ANZ Stadium.
Qld lead NSW 8-4 at halftime
by AAP

By Steve Jancetic

SYDNEY, July 17 AAP - Queensland withstood a relentless NSW charge to cling to an 8-4 halftime lead in the State of Origin decider at ANZ Stadium.

Chasing a eighth-straight series win, the Maroons charged out of the blocks before they were forced to rely on some desperate goal line defence as the Blues camped themselves in enemy territory on the back of a run of penalties.

Without a win in Sydney since 2010, Queensland got on the board first when Johnathan Thurston skirted around both NSW front-rowers to score beside the posts - Robbie Farah's call for obstruction rejected by the video referee.

It was soon 8-0 as NSW again paid the price for some ill-discipline, James Maloney penalised for a shoulder charge on Maroons kicker Cooper Cronk, Thurston making no mistake with the simple shot at goal.

But from there the momentum changed, Queensland coming up with some uncharacteristic fumbles as the NSW pack started making inroads following the injection of Anthony Watmough and Andrew Fifita off the bench.

Justin Hodges and Thurston rescued the visitors with separate try-savers, but on the back of three straight penalties the defence finally cracked, a desperate Josh Morris offload finding James McManus to score in his first Origin appearance since 2009.

Morris was denied when a Darius Boyd fingertip was enough to ground a ball in the in-goal following a Farah grubber, the Blues doing everything but score a try as they hammered the Maroons line.


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