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Trbojevic identifies winning formula

The second half possession and game management is what Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues forward Jake Trbojevic has identified as the winning formula in the 32-point win over Queensland in Game Two at Perth’s Optus Stadium.

With the 2022 Ampol State of Origin series now level at 1-1, the Blues head to Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on 13 July aiming to win a fourth series in five years.

Trbojevic was one of the stars of the 44-12 result in Perth playing at prop for 71 minutes after being recalled to the side by head coach Brad Fittler.

The Manly-Warringah Sea Eagle made 31 tackles, missed none, and had no errors against his name in making 17 hit-ups and 148 metres – including 61 post-contact – for NSW.

“It was a hard game – it was good to be back. We had a lot of possession and got some reward late. It was nice to be a part of,” the 28-year-old said.

“I reckon it came down a lot to the way we managed possession, we had a lot of field position which was nice. And we came home strong.

“We had a lot of ball and that definitely helps,” Trbojevic said.

“It was nice to just come out and put together a performance like that. From No.1 to No.17 everyone played well so that was the most pleasing thing.”

The controlling hands of Brydens Lawyers NSW Blues halfback Nathan Cleary figured prominently in that second half, alongside his instinctive running and passing game.

Cleary scored twice himself (63rd, 66th minutes) after setting up his right-side winger Daniel Tupou with a cut-out ball (49th minute) and then watching his halves partner Jarome Luai score (58th minute).

That 17-minute points-scoring blitz buried the Queenslanders, fatiguing them and denying them time with the ball themselves.

Cleary was named ‘Player of the Match’ for his efforts in rescuing NSW from a 2-0 series defeat to the Maroons after they took Game One 16-10 three weeks ago.

“I don’t know who was criticising him (Cleary) because he was outstanding – has been outstanding forever,” Trbojevic said.

“He’s such a great player and I love him playing in this side, love watching him play for Penrith.

“He’s a quality player who works really hard and deserves everything he gets.”

An injured Trbojevic wasn’t part of the last visit by NSW to Suncorp Stadium – a 26-0 whitewash in Game Two last year that sealed the 2021 Origin series for the Blues.

“I didn’t play that Game Two last year but they’ll take some confidence from that 26-0 win,” he said.

“We know Queensland grow a leg up there and obviously are a quality side anyway.

“Playing at home will make them very strong – so it’ll be tough but we can take some confidence from last year I reckon.”

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.