Key State of Origin game two match-ups

Maroons captain Cameron Smith admitted the veteran five-eighth's ability to play on with a shoulder injury had lifted them to to their last-ditch 18-16 win over NSW at ANZ Stadium.

"There's your game plan", Johns offered.

The July 12 clash could become a swansong for a number of the team's stars, with Cooper Cronk and Billy Slater yet to confirm if they will play on next year. I guarantee he'll be heading for an operation the next couple of days.

Slater made a triumphant return to the State of Origin arena on Wednesday night, setting up the match-winning play in the dying minutes of an ANZ Stadium thriller. You go at him and then it put pressure on the defenders either side. There was two or three little moments in the second half that proved the difference. "I still remember when I was a kid back in Mackay, watching Origin and wanting to be a part of it".

'You've got a player out there who cannot pick his arm up off the ground, and they didn't target him. "I think he'll be there", Gould said. Not only did he make 106 metres from 10 runs and 21 tackles but he combined with James Tedesco to help set-up a Mitchell Pearce try.

"That was probably our downfall", said Dugan.

They will kick long early to make the likes of Fifita and Woods run a long way back to the football.

Not many other wingers in the game could have done that and I think that the way he will start the sets for Queensland - where it really struggled in game one to get any fast play-the-balls - he will just rip through that middle with his leg speed and footwork. Paying through the middle, playing fast.

"We were outplayed in the middle in game one and that's where they gained a lot of momentum and ultimately they scored their points from there - or majority", Smith said. In game one it was his defence which caught our eye but this time it was his attack.

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Cordner dares to dream about wrapping up the series tonight and lifting the shield in Brisbane next month but has tried to banish those thoughts and just focus on what he knows is going to be a battle tonight.

"We've won nothing. We've achieved nothing", Daley said.

"They're a great team and they ask a lot of questions, especially when you give them so many opportunities on your own line", Blues forward Wade Graham told

"Game 3 is his last ever game in Queensland colours".

"Everyone is talking about that first half, we were just like zombies going back and forth, back and forth, and that's what Origin's all about - and that's why it's so special".

Thurston stepped up amid a stadium full of boos to clinch a famous Maroons win. Thurston started to control the game with his kicking game and with ball in hand - the Cowboys halfback started the movement down a right side that was stunted all night to finally break the Blues resistance.

"I've got no complaints".

"That's the best thing about it. when I was coming in and playing with guys who had played 10 years of Origin it was pretty daunting at first".

Interchange: 14. Michael Morgan, 15.

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