NRL commentator Phil Gould may’ve supported the decision made by Cooper Cronk, but Queensland coach Mal Meninga could have seen things very differently.
Just minutes into the second half of last night’s State of Origin Game two, Cronk was sin binned for ten minutes, after holding back NSW five-eighth Todd Carney from scoring a possible try.
The Blues won a penalty goal to lock the game at 6-all and Gould backed-up the Melbourne play-maker’s tactic, saying as a coach he’d rather see a player sent off then an extra six points on the score board.
But, no one could’ve anticipated what would happen in those next ten minutes.
With Queensland’s side diminished to 12 players, the Blues pushed through for two tries, tipping the score in their favour 16-6.
The NRL website reports, Queensland captain Cameron Smith conceded Cronk's stint off the field was pivotal: "We struggled when Cooper got put in the sin-bin," he said.
"They scored two tries and we couldn't recover ... we had a lot of field position in the second half but unfortunately we couldn't get the win and that's one-all and we'll go back to Brisbane for the decider.”
Cronk did his best to make amends, helping Queensland in their late charge, with Greg Inglis stretching his record Origin try tally to 14 and forcing a nail-biting finish with just four points in it.
But NSW held off any further attempts to win the second game of the series 16-12, to force a decider in Brisbane next month.
NSW coach Ricky Stuart says the Blues now have to prove they can win the war and stop Queensland from claiming a record seven-straight series wins.
"These boys have shown they can win an Origin game, now we have to show we can win an Origin series," Stuart said.