Rugby League

State of Origin 2014: Game 2 Score and Recap for Maroons vs. Blues

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18:  Aaron Woods (R) of the Blues jumps onto his team mates to celebrate a try by Trent Hodkinson during game two of the State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on June 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Tom SunderlandFeatured ColumnistJune 18, 2014

New South Wales claimed their first State of Origin series win since 2005 after beating Queensland 6-4 in a frantic and tense Game 2 in Sydney on Wednesday.

Johnathan Thurston's two penalties saw the Maroons lead up until the 71st minute, but it was then that the Blues' halfback Trent Hodkinson struck, converting his own try to give New South Wales a critical second win of the 2014 series.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 18:  Brent Tate of the Maroons is helped off the field after an injury during game two of the State of Origin series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons at ANZ Stadium on June 18, 2014 in Sydney, Australia
Matt King/Getty Images

Queensland have won the last eight series in succession, with seven of those coming by a scoreline of 2-1, but the wait is at last over for the party who have spent so long in the shadows of their bitter rivals.

Fox Sports News reacted to the end of Queensland's streak, indicating precisely what a seismic shift this represents for Australian league:

The Sydney Telegraph shows the delight of the hosts' players after Hodkinson made such a dramatic impact late on in the fixture:

In such a tight affair, it wasn't always about the dazzling footwork that the National Rugby League is used to, with Blues fullback Jarryd Hayne doing his bit in defence to ensure the Maroons weren't able to build on Thurston's foundation.

Hayne denied a Sam Thaiday chance in the second half, spilling the ball from his opponent's hand as he crossed the line, a decision that needed confirmation by a television match official but was terrifically symbolic of just how hard fought the win was.

The heartache of a series loss is nothing new to Kangaroos star Hayne, and he concisely summarised just what this victory means for his outfit:

Blues head coach Laurie Daley took some chances with his selection in this series, picking some players with no previous State of Origin experience, such as the aforementioned Hodkinson and Daniel Tupou.

However, those risks paid off, and Daley was right to join his troops in jubilation upon hearing the final whistle:

Of course, it wouldn't have been an Origin match without its own share of heavy collisions and scraps, with Fox Sports NRL capturing an alleged Thurston dig on New South Wales five-eighth Josh Reynolds:

However, it's a testament to the occasion, sport and its athletes that even through such adversities, all can be forgotten outside of the 80 minutes, with the Queensland staple gracious in defeat:

The Blues have stolen the crown, but now attention will turn to establishing a dynasty the likes of which Queensland has become so used to in the last decade or so.

Daley will look to work with the crop of players who triumphed this week and turn their gaze toward the third match in the series, now with a lot less riding on it.

But for now, New South Wales will rejoice in the breaking of the curse that has haunted them for so long.

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