NSW Blues single out Hunt to claim victory at State of Origin II

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Nathan Brown of the Blues celebrates after winning game two of the 2020 State of Origin.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Nathan Brown of the Blues celebrates after winning game two of the 2020 State of Origin.

Queensland utility Ben Hunt had a target on as his back as NSW brutalised the Maroons’ left edge defensive systems.

Brought on after just two minutes as a replacement for Cameron Munster on Wednesday night, Hunt found himself in heavy traffic as the Blues turned him around in defence.

Exposing miscommunication on the left edge, the Blues struck gold to level the State of Origin series in Sydney with a 34-10 win.

The Maroons pulled off a shock win in the first State of Origin, with a team boasting a number of fresh faces. Next week, they’ll be able to prove whether that win was a fluke or not.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

The Maroons pulled off a shock win in the first State of Origin, with a team boasting a number of fresh faces. Next week, they’ll be able to prove whether that win was a fluke or not.

James Tedesco, Cody Walker and Josh Addo-Carr all had success singling Hunt out in the defensive line – but it was a simple numbers game for the Blues.

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Caught short on the edges, the Maroons didn’t have the man power to stop the Blues running at a retreating defence.

The left edge combination of Hunt and Felise Kaufusi missed a total of nine tackles as Walker and Tedesco caught their indecision in the line.

Those missed tackles were among 32 for the Maroons.

“They’ve been able to pick the Queensland defence apart and they’re having a lot of trouble on their left side defence now that Hunt is playing five-eighth instead of Munster,” former Blues coach Phil Gould told Nine.

“Looks like no communication or confidence there but the Blues are moving the ball nicely down this side of the field.”

It was not a good night for the Maroons.

Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

It was not a good night for the Maroons.

While it was just his fourth game in the halves in five months, Hunt could be called on to wear the No 6 in game three – the decider – at Suncorp Stadium next week.

After just two minutes a groggy Munster was helped from the field by Maroons medical staff after his head collided with the turf solidly.

The star five-eighth failed his HIA and was ruled out of the game, putting him in doubt to play in just seven days time.

Taking Munster out of the line put a strain on the Maroons, leaving them with just three players on the bench for the remaining 78 minutes of the game.



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