“[But] I have got great respect for Gus, he is certainly one of the most knowledgable guys in our game so I will pick up the phone and discuss it. Phil has been a great Origin coach and there are things I agree with Phil and there’s things I don’t agree”.
The Blues began the game at full throttle, but Queensland took a 10-4 lead into the break.
The Blues edged ahead after Paul Gallen was dumped on his head in a tackle by Queensland.
The outcome was four early penalties against Walker but he doggedly stuck to the task and his approach proved effective as the Maroons tries were scored on the opposite side of the field through Gagai.
And it was presented on a silver platter by NSW – Josh Mansour was unable to handle a panicked offload from Jennings, allowing Gagai to run 80 metres for the opening try.
Queensland rookie Corey Oates is a devastating ball runner and has established himself as an elite winger, but he has had injury issues to start the year and is not immune to defensive lapses.
Daley was unable to rouse his troops during the interval, however, and Gagai completed a brilliant double in the 47th minute after typically slick work from fullback Darius Boyd.
Thurston converted it and Queensland had a commanding 16-4 buffer.
NSW hit back through Reynolds and Frizell. The halfback took the line on and slipped a pass to the debutant Frizell to score.
Reynolds added the extras and the Blues were back in the game at 16-10.
A poor drop out from NSW leaves QLD on their line and pushing the ball, 62 minutes gone and it’s crunch time now, another score for QLD here may be the end of the series for NSW.
NSW teammates want the opportunity to send Gallen out as a victor and have vowed to ensure a fitting send-off for the soon to be 35-year-old, who will become NSW’s second oldest Origin player after John Ferguson in 1989.
They were fingertip away from taking an unlikely lead in the 71st minute, with a Michael Jennings knock on stealing a try away from Tyson Frizell. Thaiday was put on report but there needed to be more action; if the NRL are serious about stamping out the practice – and this was a bad one – then the Queensland back rower should have been sin binned.
Corey Oates scored in the left corner off a planned backline play and the Maroons had the game sewn up.
However, another penalty count in favour of Queensland and NSW’s error rate were costly and made it hard for the Blues to capitalise on the opportunities they created with their more expansive attacking approach compared to Origin I.
Gallen has confirmed the 2016 series will be his last, but with the shield already retained by Queensland, Geyer said NSW had to look elsewhere for the dead rubber in Sydney next month.