Queensland secure eighth straight State of Origin series
Queensland secured a 12-10 over New South Wales to win the State of Origin title
Queensland secured their eighth straight State of Origin title, with a 12-10 win over New South Wales in a dramatic game at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.
Queensland were under heavy pressure for much of the match, but a resilient defensive performance and Justin Hodges' second-half try were to thank for their victory in the deciding third game of the series.
With a record 83,813 crowd packed inside the ANZ Stadium, the Maroons made the brighter start and were rewarded for it when Johnathan Thurston ran-home to score and give his side an early lead.
Penalties increased Queensland's advantage further too, and it looked as if they were set to would cruise to victory.
But the Blues battled back, earning a series of penalties of their own, and scoring a try through James McManus - no mean feat, considering NSW had only breached the try-line once during the previous two games in the series.
NSW continued to press, but they could not reduce the arrears sufficiently and went into the half-time break 8-4 down.
The second-half continued in the same manner, but crucial errors at key times cost the Blues dear, with both Anthony Watmough and McManus knocking-on when their side was well-placed.
And they were made to pay for their errors when a superb pass from Cooper Cronk released Hodges, who went over to secure the victory for Queensland.
The Blues fought back again, with Trent Merrin going over to reduce the arrears, but it wasn't enough for NSW.
The scoreline could have been more flattering for the Maroons too but, in a bizarre twist, a streaker ran on the pitch in the dying stages of the match, just as Matt Scott appeared to be about to score, and the try was ruled out.
It meant a nervy last few minutes for Queensland, but they held on to claim yet another series victory.
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