Three rapid-fire tries for the NSW Police midway through the second half helped them to a 28-12 win over Queensland Police at Accor Stadium in Sydney on Wednesday night.
In the first police Rugby League Origin game in three years, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NSW turned the tables on Queensland who won their last game 22-12 in June 2019 in Darwin.
But brilliant work from NSW halves Connor O’Bierne and David Farkas, alongside creative hooker Matt Johnstone, set the groundwork for the 16-point win.
O’Bierne had three try assists in his contribution to NSW’s five tries to two victory, which was the curtain raiser to the opening Ampol State of Origin game.
However, three quick tries in the second half was a hill too high for Queensland to climb to get back into the game.
The NSW left edge proved a gold mine for the home side in the opening half.
Winger Callum Blinco posted NSW’s first points after a sublime cut-out pass from five-eighth O’Bierne in the ninth minute.
Blinco still had some work to do 10 metres out from the Queensland line, but he stepped off his left foot and evaded two defenders for a one-handed put-down.
Then 11 minutes later O’Bierne was at it again, offering the final pass to fullback Haydn Peacock on the burst down the left side.
Farkas converted from near the touchline to put NSW Police out to 10-0 with a quarter of the game gone.
That remained the half-time score as NSW was able to snuff out several Queensland surges towards their line.
Blinco was in the thick of the goal-line defence with two try-saving tackles to keep the Blues spirits high.
Two tough defensive sets again greeted the NSW players but having withstood that barrage, the floodgates opened.
They scored 18 points in a 15-minute period midway through tries to second rower Rhys Dombkins, hooker Matt Johnstone and centre Mathewson Johns to race out to 28-0.
Johns was later named Player of the Match.
Queensland fullback Jake Carl ran for 20-metres untouched after a beautiful inside pass to score the Maroons first points in the 63rd minute.
Queensland prop Carter Ozanne scored a consolation try 90 seconds from the fulltime hooter.