Queensland enjoyed a consolation win and dulled the State Of Origin 2014 shield celebrations for New South Wales when defeating the Blues 32 – 8 at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night in a rousing Game 3 effort.
After losing the series with back-to-back losses in Games 1 and 2, the Maroons’ first State Of Origin series loss since 2005, they went some way to atoning that with their huge six-tries-to-one win over their interstate rivals in front of a crowd some 30,000 fans under what watched the Blues secure the series three weeks ago in Sydney.
Game 3 Results
Suncorp Stadium – 09/07/2014
- Queensland (32) beat New South Wales (8)
- Crowd: 50,155
- QLD Try Scorers: Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Aidan Guerra, Cooper Cronk
- QLD Goals: Johnathan Thurston
- NSW Try Scorer: Josh Dugan
- NSW Goals: Trent Hodkinson
- Half-Time Result: 6 – 2 in favour of Queensland
- Man Of The Match: Corey Parker (QLD)
- Player Of The Series: Paul Gallen (NSW Captain)
The Maroons broke down the previously very tough Blues’ defensive line over and over again in the second half with the bulk of their points scored inside of the last 10 minutes when the series winners gave up on attempting their first whitewash since 2000.
Honouring their eight straight Origin shields, Queensland showed exactly what they were capable of when the pressure was off against a New South Wales squad down on determination with the series’ result already decided.
Blues posted first points in the 23rd minute with a successful penalty kick from Trent Hodkinson after Ben Te’o made a high tackle on the NSW halfback.
Queensland fought back though 10 minutes later with the game’s opening try from skipper Cameron Smith, his fifth in the Origin arena, who went on to celebrate his 20th Origin victory.
It was a brilliant decision by Maroons’ coach Mal Meninga to save Daly Cherry-Evans, bumped to the bench for the third game with the return of Queensland’s No. 7 Cooper Cronk, until 30 minutes in.
He came onto the field firing on all cylinders and made the perfect break to take them up past half way, deciding not to pass but put a cross field kick collected by Smith who got over, Johnathan Thurston’s kick taking them to a 6 – 2 lead they took to the sheds at half time.
Thurston had a beauty on the boot all night, a positive sign for Cowboys’ fans, converting all five goals plus kicking a penalty as well including a few tricky ones from the sideline.
Having fought from behind to win the first two Origin games this season, New South Wales didn’t have the same fighting spirit last night and could only manage to score once.
It came in the 61st minute with the leggy Josh Dugan getting over, Hodkinson’s kick successful again to bring their total points tally to eight.
Before that however it took just four minutes after the teams came back onto the field after the break before the home side extended their lead with Billy Slater slicing thorough the line off an ace pass 10 metres away from the try-line from Justin Hodges.
Hodges also set up a second six minutes from the fulltime whistle getting the ball to Aidan Guerra.
In between was one from Darius Boyd who became equal highest try-scorer in Origin history with teammate Greg Inglis with his try in the corner with nine minutes left on the clock.
To bring them to their total tally was then a 78th minute, icing-on-the-cake try to Cronk converted by JT.
It was a true mate v mate battlefield too including a second-half bruiser between Gold Coast teammates Greg Bird (NSW) and Nate Myles (QLD) that started with the former putting a dangerous throw on Myles that lead to Queensland’s 60th minute penalty.
A few minutes later though and the Blues were awarded a penalty of their own after Myles elbowed Bird in the throat and left the forward fighting for a breath of air.
Queensland’s Corey Parker also had a beauty of a game with the most hit-ups (20), offloads (8) and metres run (189) than any other player on the field earning him Man Of The Match.
Blues’ skipper Paul Gallen meanwhile was awarded Player Of The Series for guiding his team to their first Origin win in nine years.
There are also four players all on report with Josh Reynolds, Greg Bird, Ben Te’o and Nate Myles all set to face the judiciary.
Stay tuned to NRLleague.com.au for how that affects the following few rounds of the 2014 NRL Telstra Premiership where attention will turn starting on Friday night with Manly playing the Wests Tigers.
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