NSW keep series alive
New South Wales kept their hopes of a drought-breaking series win alive with a dramatic 16-12 victory over Queensland in the second State of Origin encounter at ANZ Stadium.
The Blues, who lost the opening match 18-10, dominated for much of the first half but somehow trailed 6-4 at the break after Maroons prop Ben Hannant scored a converted try in the 40th minute.
Whatever coach Ricky Stuart said at the interval worked wonders, though, with the Blues scoring twice in four minutes after Cooper Cronk was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul to open up a 10-point lead with half an hour remaining.
Queensland, looking for a seventh successive series success, hit back through Greg Inglis on the hour and looked likely to steal another famous victory in a pulsating final quarter.
But the Blues held firm, Michael Jennings denying Brent Tate a certain try in the 71st minute before the Blues repelled a final raid in the last minute to seal the win in front of a delighted crowd of 83,110.
The result sets up a mouth-watering series decider at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, on July 4.
Todd Carney arrived on the Origin stage, setting up both of Brett Stewart's tries and kicking two-from-four with the boot, while Josh Morris also scored in the three-tries-to-two triumph.
It was a brave effort from the Maroons, who lost Corey Parker to a leg gash in the opening minute of the second half, while Brent Tate and Billy Slater were both hampered by leg injuries throughout.