America alerted to ‘phenomenal’ Blues rookie

Matt Burton’s phenomenal State of Origin debut has headlined a thumping 44-12 Blues win in Perth.

Burton was clinical – he scored the Blues’ first try of the match, and made a crucial one-on-one strip against Queensland’s Dane Gagai which led to the Nathan Cleary try that put the game beyond doubt.

But it was his repeated peppering of the Maroons back three with gravity-defying bombs (watch the massive torpedo in the video at the top of the page) – some of which went so high they were out of the Optus Stadium lights – that had greats impressed the most.

READ MORE: America alerted to ‘phenomenal’ Blues rookie

PICTURES: Aussie rockers split opinion for Origin performance

READ MORE: Ref under fire over match-turning moment

CENTER MATCH: Score, stats + video highlights

Andrew Johns suggests some American talent scouts should be interested, with the incredible hang time and distance on Burton’s kicks potentially making him a candidate to play punter in the NFL.

“Is this going to America? Are the NFL scouts watching this? Look how much it is swinging away,” Johns said effusively in Nine’s call of the game.

“That is phenomenal.”

After the match, Burton told Nine’s Danika Mason his debut was “unbelievable”.

Cleary, Burton combine for magical try

“It was great to get the job done tonight especially in front of all my family and this great crowd. It was unreal. It was unbelievable,” he said.

“It was a great week with all the boys. We needed to get the job done.

“It means everything to put this jersey on (and) to do it in front of all my family and with all them boys … and to share that with (the Blues’ other debutant Siosifa) Talakai as well, it is pretty special .”

NSW skipper James Tedesco was full of praise for the young Bulldogs star.

“He was one of our best, I reckon. He has done so well at the Bulldogs, in the centers for Penrith he was one of the best in the game. He was putting up some of those kicks that were hard to take,” Cleary said.

2022 State of Origin Highlights: NSW v QLD – Game II

gone into the change rooms at half time leading 14-12, the Blues Having dominated the second half, forcing the Maroons to go back to the drawing board for a decider.

Second half tries went to Daniel Tupou, Jarome Luai, two to Cleary, and Angus Crichton.

After a quiet game one, Cleary was on-form with the boot, kicking eight from eight and scoring 24 points in a clinical performance that will silence his critics.

The 14-12 half time scoreline was a perfect reflection of the quality of the contest, the 39th-minute sin binning of Felise Kaufusi gave the Blues a gift on half time.

The Blues had five back-to-back sets from infringements and were camped on the Maroons line – which to this point had remained staunch.

When Felise Kaufusi lays across the ruck like a beach towel and triggered another restart, referee Ashley Klein feels the Queensland No.12 straight to the bin.

Blues score immediately after sin bin

It was a costly mistake – Brian To’o crossed in the corner off the next play, and when Cleary nailed the conversion, the Blues hit the sheds with a two-point lead.

It had earlier taken 22 minutes for the first try to be scored, but four followed in the 18 minutes to half time.

Cleary’s boot had opened the scoring from an 11th minute penalty, but it was Kaufusi who was first to cross the line after a contentious pass from Kalyn Ponga.

NSW hit straight back when a Cleary grubber found Burton, who showed beautiful hands to pick up the deft grubber and score.

Minutes later it was Ponga making things happen, stepping through three defenders to make a break down the left. He offloaded to Val Holmes, who put Cameron Munster in a hole for the Maroons’ second.

NSW charged down two Queensland kicks inside the first 15 minutes, a chance was created with the first, but gave the ball back to the Maroons with the second.

NSW’s win ensures a mouth-watering end to the 2022 series, with the Maroons hosting the decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 13.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

#America #alerted #phenomenal #Blues #rookie

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.