Josh Reynolds to contest dangerous throw charge
NSW can finally end the misery of Queensland's record-breaking eight-straight streak in Sydney next month following after a brave 12-8 upset win in the 100th State of Origin clash at Suncorp Stadium tonight.
But they may have to do without tenacious Bulldogs five-eighth Josh Reynolds, placed on report for an ugly lifting and driving tackle on Queensland winger Brent Tate.
Given the NRL's heavy-handed crackdown following the Alex McKinnon incident earlier this year, Reynolds was lucky to only cop a grade two dangerous throw charge which will sideline him for two weeks if he makes an early guilty plea.
With the Bulldogs having a bye this weekend, Reynolds has indicated he will contest the charge to give himself a chance of playing in Origin game two in Sydney on June 18.
If his challenge is unsuccessful he will miss three games.
Tate, who has a long history with neck issues and plays in a special protective brace, was lifted high off the ground before being flipped in the air and driven into the ground.
Fortunately he landed on his back as his team mates rushed to his aid as players began aggressively pushing and shoving each other.
Queensland, as they had so many times in the previous 99 Origin games, refused to lie down and when winger Darius Boyd scored his second try in the 56th minute off a lovely Johnathan Thurston pass to reduce the margin to 12-8, the ghosts of past miracle wins surely must have been haunting Blues coach Laurie Daley and his players in front of a baying Maroon crowd of 52,111.
Boyd almost proved a hero in the 74th minute, pulling down a kick a few metres out from the NSW try line, but a body-and-all tackle by Brett Morris saved the day for the Blues.
NSW did an excellent job containing Queensland's danger man Greg Inglis while Jarryd Hayne was fantastic with 175 metres, bettered only by his opposite number Billy Slater who cracked 200 metres for the game.
Queensland hooker Cameron Smith made 45 tackles, but this time there was no miracle for the Maroons.
Queensland got away to the perfect start when Newcastle fullback Darius Boyd grabbed his 13th Origin try in the left hand corner in just the fifth minute.
The Maroons' focus all week had been a fast start and they were all over NSW in the opening 10 minutes, the Blues barely hanging on at times before possession swung their way and they opened up some holes in Queensland's defensive line.
Maroons coach Mal Meninga was forced to make a key change after halfback Cooper Cronk left the game with a suspected broken arm, replaced by Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans at the 10-minute mark.
Aided by a glut of possession and some lucky calls, the Blues began to build some serious pressure, stretching Queensland to the limit repeatedly.
The unique understanding of the Morris twins, Josh and Brett, combined beautifully on the right side to level the contest at 4-4 in the 19th minute with Brett getting the green light from video refs Steve Clark and Luke Patten, despite a hint of a double movement.
A 28m Trent Hodkinson-penalty edged the Blues ahead 6-4 before fullback Jarryd Hayne showed his class and strength to roll and reach out with his right arm for another try which required the video referee's approval to put them up 10-4 at half time.