Johnathan Thurston (C) and Queensland teammates celebrate beating New South Wales at ANZ Stadium in Sydney to win the State of Origin series. Photo Getty
The dynasty continues.
Last night, Queensland won their eighth straight State of
Origin series - beating New South Wales 12-10 - and
proved why they are the best side in the history of the
They were second-best for most of the night but had enough
class on attack when it really mattered and defended like a
breach of their line was a personal affront.
The game ended in somewhat farcical circumstances when a
streaker ran on to the field in the 78th minute with
Queensland hot on attack. Prop Matt Scott crossed as he
eluded not only the NSW defence but also a handful of
security in bright yellow jackets.
The Maroons weren't awarded the try but it saw them earn
another set from a scrum and they were able to run the clock
down for a famous victory.
It was a heartbreaking defeat for NSW in a game befitting the
This was seen by many as their best chance to break the
famine in some time, meaning it was one of the most
anticipated Origin games in history. They had got close in
the last two years and felt they had a good chance to finally
break through, even without the injured duo of captain Paul
Gallen and Jarryd Hayne.
The problem was, they hadn't won a game three decider since
2005, losing four deciders since then, but were also handed
the chance to play a decider on home soil for the first time
since 2008. More than 80,000 fans tried to roar NSW home at
ANZ Stadium, creating a terrific atmosphere, but they
ultimately went home disappointed.
They had seen their side dominate for long periods and come
agonisingly close on a number of occasions but this great
Maroons side refused to yield.
The start was seen as crucial, given the winners in the first
two games had led 14-0 at the break. Queensland burst out of
the blocks against a flat looking NSW side and led 8-0 after
14 minutes, with five-eighth Johnathan Thurston scoring all
of the points.
NSW were wary of the Maroons' threats out wide - they tore
NSW to shreds on the edges in game two - but neglected to
tackle the ball-carrier and Thurston jinked and burrowed his
way to the line in the 10th minute.
At that stage Queensland were dominating and dumb penalties,
a constant throughout the series, were costing the home side.
But momentum swung wildly midway through the half after
Anthony Watmough and Andrew Fifita came onto the field and
Queensland were lucky to be leading 8-4 at halftime. They had
to scramble, which they did well at times, but also invited
trouble by giving away six penalties and offering NSW repeat
The Blues could manage only one try to winger James McManus
in the 26th minute after a sustained period of pressure.
It was the least they deserved and they came close three
minutes before halftime when Josh Morris grounded the ball
but Darius Boyd was adjudged to get a fingertip of downward
pressure on the ball first.
Queensland had proven through the years they can defend a
lead, no matter how slim, and NSW needed to score to truly
believe they could win.
They were running Queensland ragged and playing all of the
football but just couldn't come up with the right plays when
it mattered and this was highlighted when Justin Hodges
latched onto a clever, short pass from Cooper Cronk to cross
on the hour and give Queensland a decisive 12-4 lead.
Trent Merrin scored under the posts in the 71st minute to set
up a frantic finish but NSW will now have to wait another
agonising 12 months to try to break the streak.
Queensland 12 (Johnathan Thurston, Justin Hodges tries;
Thurston 2 gls), NSW 10 (James McManus, Trent Merrin tries;
James Maloney gl). HT: 4-8.
- Michael Brown of APNZ