Queensland has levelled the State of Origin series after an emphatic 26-6 win over New South Wales at Lang Park on Wednesday night.
Trailing 1-0 after the Blues’ triumph in Sydney three weeks ago, the Maroons came out with a vengeance in the opening exchanges to race to a 14-0 lead.
The hosts added another two tries in the second stanza to make a big statement of intent and set up a titanic Origin III decider in Sydney on July 17.
“We knew we had to work on our start and it just wasn’t good enough a couple weeks ago in Sydney,” Queensland full-back Billy Slater told Grandstand post-match.
With the referees cracking down on punch-ups following Paul Gallen’s hit on Nate Myles in Origin I, Trent Merrin sparked an all-in brawl mid-way through the second half after landing punches on Brent Tate.
But the officials chose to send off two Maroons players as well as Tate and NSW team-mate Greg Bird to clamp down on the fisticuffs.