STATE OF ORIGIN: NSW lead Queensland 34-0 at halftime of Game II as Latrell Mitchell stars

Ben McClellan
The Nightly
There was no love lost between the Queensland and New South Wales players.

NSW have put on a clinic scoring a record 34 point first half, while keeping Queensland scoreless with the Blues going on to win the game 38-18 to send the State of Origin series to a decider.

The Blues ran in six unanswered tries at the MCG with Zac Lomax and Brian To’o bagging doubles and Latrell Mitchell proving why he had to be in the Game II side by scoring one try and setting up another.

Liam Martin opened the scoring before Mitchell threw a deft flick pass to send To’o over.

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“They have been absolutely relentless and their kicking game has been perfect,” Brad Fittler said after the second try.

Lomax leapt high to take a Mitchell Moses kick to score NSW’s third try with former Maroons skipper Cameron Smith remarking the take would have impressed Melbourne’s crowd, likening it to a ‘specy mark’ in the AFL.

Mitchell Moses, playing a sublime half directing the Blues at No.7, took advantage of poor Queensland defence to place a short kick that led to To’o scoring his second and NSW’s fourth try.

Mitchell ran in NSW’s fifth try after Angus Crichton made a clever offload to Dylan Edwards who sent Mitchell into a gaping gap.

Right on halftime Stephen Crichton, who terrorised the Maroons’ left edge defence, brushed off Murray Taulagi to send Lomax in for his second. The Dragons star also kicked five conversions to finish the half with 18 points.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 26:  Zac Lomax of the Blues celebrates after scoring a try during game two of the men's State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 26, 2024 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Zac Lomax celebrates a try as he racked up 18 first half points. Credit: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Queensland centre Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow suffered a shoulder injury but after leaving the ground returned to the Maroons bench and Martin was lucky not to be sin-binned in the final 10 minutes of the half for a lifting tackle which took Reuben Carter over the horizontal.

He was placed on report and will have a nervous wait to see if he faces a ban next week.

NSW’s 34 points was the most scored in a first half of Origin by one team.

Blues legend Andrew Johns said it was an unprecedented performance.

“I’ve never seen anything like this at this level. They are breaking all sorts of records the Blues,” he said.

Queensland won the opening game 38-10 and have won the past two series.

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