Queensland beats New South Wales 18-16 in State of Origin

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That tied the game at 16-16 and it was up to Johnathan Thurston to nail the conversion with just minutes to go. It would prove costly, an opportunity to put the game to bed blown. At halftime the Blues were in the lead having completed 16 of 19 sets.

The home side lost their composure, playing over-conservatively but still coming up with unnecessary mistakes - with Hayne a serial offender - and giving away penalties to repeatedly invite the Maroons closer to another great escape.

The strong performance from New South Wales in Game One in enemy territory has now been cancelled out by the Maroons according to Gagai with both sides battered and bruised heading into the final encounter in Queensland on July 12.

"You have to treat it like its your last game and all the boys know that". I thought we saw one of the greatest Origins of all time, as far as the pace and the speed of the game (was concerned).

"We were outplayed in the middle in game one and that's where they gained a lot of momentum and ultimately they scored their points from there - or majority", Smith said.

While there can be no complaints about the standard of Origin I, this series has been timid from a promotional sense.

"But we're certainly not getting ahead of ourselves". They may never have had to dig deeper. For all their individual brilliance, the team is still the sum of its parts and the Blues were a much better unit in Brisbane. He smashed Valentine Holmes on his first ever run and forced the ball free in a statement that declared he was there to lead the pack. "You come back in and it's like you haven't left".

Pressure is building on Walters after Queensland wielded the axe following their record game one loss, making seven changes and naming four rookies - the biggest team shake-up in 15 years.

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"I would say (they will target our forwards), it'd be silly for them not to given the way they played, but if they want to just go and focus on those guys, we've got a lot of other guys in our team that can do damage as well".

Suddenly it was 16-6. Not only did he make 106 metres from 10 runs and 21 tackles but he combined with James Tedesco to help set-up a Mitchell Pearce try.

They could have, and possibly should have scored on two separate occasions in those 30 seconds but a pair of momentous try-savers - the first from Trbojevic on Cronk next to the posts, the second from Dugan on Morgan out wide - preserved the 10-point lead heading into the break.

The half-time score of 16-6 though probably didn't do justice to the manner of the Blues' domination.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters (left) and his NSW counterpart Laurie Daley.

Josh McGuire burst through two tackles on a charge from inside his own half before finding Cooper Cronk and two wonderful inside passes, from the half-back and Will Chambers, set up Gagai's first try.

It was then despair when Gagai crossed for the match-winner, cutting back on a vicious inside angle to leave Hayne clutching at air and Queensland with one hand still clutching at that Origin shield.

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