State Of Origin

NSW take out SOO 1

The lead was extended further by a try in the 21st minute off a brilliant dummy half run by Damien Cook with support from Maloney to put James Tedesco between the sticks.

The match was shaken up with a hit from Maroons captain Greg Inglis from an offside position, costing them a penalty.

An Intercept by Holmes on a long pass by Maloney close to the Maroons try line saw Holmes run the length of the field to register the Maroons first points in the 28th minute, later converting his own try.

They went into the sheds at half time 8-6 in favor of the Blues.

NCD State of Origin ‘live and free’ sites

Although times have changed, NCD Governor Powes Parkop is ensuring everyone can watch the State of Origin by providing live and free sites in and around the “can do” city of Port Moresby.

The three-game series between the New South Wales Blues and the Queensland Maroons starts on Wednesday, June 6, in Melbourne.

Game 2 is on Sunday, June 24, in Sydney and the third and final game is on Wednesday, July 11, in Brisbane.

Fifita offers to play Origin for free

The NRL's Dally M leader made the stunning pledge after leading Cronulla to their fifth straight win on Sunday, a 22-16 home triumph over Canterbury that vaulted the Sharks into fifth spot.

"If they can make it happen, I'm not just going to go out there - I'd play for free. I'll donate my money to charity. I don't really mind," Fifita told Triple M radio.

Fittler earlier said he wouldn't rule out selecting Fifita for game one of the series in Melbourne on June 6 despite the tearaway front-rower being unavailable for Origin II on June 24.

DCE desperate to reignite Origin career

The in-form Manly skipper could have done little more to press his claims for the Maroons No.6 jersey left vacant by injuries to Johnathan Thurston and Anthony Milford, or potentially a bench utility role if incumbent Michael Morgan moves to the starting side to partner Cooper Cronk.

The third-placed Sea Eagles haven't lost since going down to Brisbane at Suncorp in Round 10 with Cherry-Evans the equal competition leader for try assists (15) and equal second for line-break assists (14).

Cowboys recharge for finals run

Since the State of Origin period began the Cowboys have won five from seven, only losing to the Cronulla Sharks and Melbourne Storm in that time by four points and one point respectively.

The upturn in form coincided with the return of Lachlan Coote and Jake Granville in Round 10, while Michael Morgan stepped up to embrace his new leadership role in the absence of Johnathan Thurston.

Cherry-Evans 'very disappointed' by Origin snub

Cherry-Evans has not added to his six Origin appearances since 2015 and the Sea Eagles captain's wait will extend to another year after he was snubbed in favour of debutant Ben Hunt for next week's game three against New South Wales in Brisbane.

The 28-year-old half-back's fine form at NRL level saw him emerge as a possible replacement for injured star Johnathan Thurston but Maroons head coach Kevin Walters turned to untried Broncos player Hunt for the do-or-die clash on July 12.

Smith lauds 'unbelievable' Maroons match-winner Thurston

Thurston, who will retire from Maroons duty after this year's matches with New South Wales Blues, missed his first Origin match since 2004 last month - the veteran sidelined through injury as Laurie Daley's side recorded a comprehensive victory in Brisbane.

However, the Australia playmaker was back for game two in Sydney on Wednesday and held his nerve to land a decisive kick in the 78th minute, after Dane Gagai's second try had enabled Queensland to cancel out a 10-point half-time deficit.

NSW v Queensland: Five key points

Origin II: NSW player ratings

Here are the NSW player ratings from Origin II at ANZ Stadium. 

1. James Tedesco

Allowed the big boys to belt each other for 20 minutes and then burst into the game, providing the final pass for Hayne's try and burst through the middle of the Maroons defence before putting Pearce away. Forced off with a head knock 20 minutes from full-time and only got back on in the dying stages. 6.5/10. 

2. Brett Morris

Origin II: Queensland player ratings

Here are the Queensland player ratings. 

1. Billy Slater

Did not miss a beat after a two-year Origin hiatus, causing headaches for the Blues from the get-go. One of Queensland's best. 8.5/10.  

2. Valentine Holmes 

Mixed night. Had a nervy start making a mistake with his first carry in the opening minutes, but he made up for it in the 9th minute with a spectacular try. Another mistake before half-time undid his good work. 5.5/10  

3. Will Chambers