Biff is back as Queensland crushes NSW in State of Origin
QUEENSLAND has crushed New South Wales in a fiery State of Origin encounter at Suncorp Stadium which saw four players sent off at the same time.
The biff was definitely back with an all-in brawl erupting in the 54th minute after Queensland had opened up a huge half-time lead.
A sea of Maroon cheered every Queensland triumph and every Blues mistakes as the home side went on to a 24-6 extermination of the cockroaches.
Tempers flared when winger Brent Tate pushed tackler Paul Gallen off Johnathan Thurston and then Trent Merrin retaliated with two punches.
From there all 26 players became involved, but it was Justin Hodges and Greg Bird who were deemed to also throw punches.
The NRL tough stance against violence - which came after Paul Gallen lashing out in game one, saw Merrin, Bird, Hodges and Tate sent to the sheds.
Tate was left bemused by the ruling, saying at the end of the game that he and Hodges made light of it as they waited their 10 minutes out.
"I can't believe Tate and Hodges ended up in the sin bin," former Blues coach Phil Gould commented at the time.
"I can understand Merrin, but the rest was complete overkill."
It mattered little though with Queensland soon surging down the field as Cooper Cronk kicked for Greg Inglis to produce a spectacular try.
The biff looks certain to be back on July 17 for the decider in Sydney.
The key points of the game
3rd - Sam Thaiday try. Crashed over some brittle goal-line defence after earning his side a penalty in first set. Nice assist Cam Smith. 6-0 Qld.
7th - Cronk steadying touch-finder. Qld all the early momentum.
10th - Smith penalty goal . 8-0 lead.
17th - Darius Boyd try. Johnathan Thurston makes the assist. Thurston looking dangerous early after going missing in game one. Qld 14-0.
29th - Blues hooker Robbie Farah finds touch 10m out and Blues needed it. The visitors finally get a chance, but Queensland get a penalty with Blues offside.
31st - Maroons halfback Cooper Cronk puts in a brilliant kick for winger Darius Boyd, but Boyd couldn't keep it in from the sideline. Blues debutant Nathan Merritt caught out in defence.
40th - Cronk brilliant inside ball for fullback Billy Slater, but lost by Justin Hodges shortly afterwards with the try line beckoning.
49th - Boyd try. Great Thurston ball to Boyd with the Knights player grabbing yet another Origin double. Merritt rushed up opening up a hole for Boyd. 18-0 Queensland.
55th - Massive brawl to test the new no-punching laws! Justin Hodges and Brent Tate for Queensland, and Greg Bird and Trent Merrin sent to sin bin!
57th - Inglis athletic leap and take from Cronk kick for try! 24-0 to Qld.
69th - Farah produces a chip kick, and great hands from Brett Morris to finish nicely just inside the touch line. 24-6 to Queensland.
80th - Johnathan Thurston penalty goal to give the hosts a 26-6 win.