James Maloney of the Blues makes a break in game two.
James Maloney of the Blues makes a break in game two. Ryan Pierse

The new villain in the Blues camp?

DO NSW have a new Paul Gallen yet for Queenslanders to loathe?

Not quite. But James Maloney is edging incredibly close.

The sly NSW five-eighth was without a doubt one of the Blues' most dangerous at ANZ Stadium last night.

Maloney set up two tries, was a workhorse in defence and constantly looked as if he ready to find more points for the Blues.

He very nearly broke Queensland's hearts.

But along the way he also sledged and niggled and did everything he could to upset the Maroons.

And it became clear very quickly just exactly who his main target was for the evening - returned Queensland fullback Billy Slater.

Just nine minutes into the match, Maloney was penalised for a late tackle on Slater, which lead to the opening try of the match to Maroons winger Valentine Holmes.

And from that moment on he continued to come for the Queensland No.1, with big hits and mouthy exchanges that everyone would have loved to hear.

Slater ended up with the last laugh however, as he played a hand in Queensland's winning try.

This is something Maloney should remember as he heads into the Game Three decider.

His antics did him no favours last night, with Maloney penalised twice.

Trying too hard to be the villain can certainly backfire.



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