A dominant performance by an ageing team of stars that many said were too old for such a feat reigned supreme at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night with the Queensland Maroons annihilating the New South Wales Blues 52 – 6 to clinch the series.
The Mal Meninga-coached Queensland squad enjoyed a record eight straight State Of Origin series wins up until last year when the Blues stole the shield.
It turned out to only be a temporary loan however and, as was the case in Game 3 12 months ago, it was Queensland who ran away in the final clash of Rugby League’s toughest tournament.
2015 State Of Origin Game 3 Results
Queensland 52 – 6 New South Wales
- First Points: NSW penalty
- First Try Scorer: Dane Gagai (QLD)
- NSW First Try Scorer: Michael Jennings
- Man of the Match: Johnathan Thurston (QLD)
- Player of the Series: Corey Parker (QLD)
After losing in Melbourne three weeks ago at the MCG to set up a do-or-die decider, a number of changes to the Queensland State Of Origin team and the fact the squad featured so many veterans of the game had them favourites in betting but only narrowly.
Experience however proved the advantage on the night, a reinvigorated Maroons squad playing with an energy and enthusiasm of a pack half their age.
The forward display from the winning squad led by subsequent Wally Lewis Medalist for Player of the Series Corey Parker and Jacob Lillyman who ran 147m and 137m respectively was outstanding and they couldn’t be stopped, not allowing the Blues enough time with the ball to do anything of note or put a dint in their point-scoring bonanza in front of a fired up and very boisterous home crowd.
The roar at the old Lang Park cauldron was deafening and turned into a party atmosphere when the points started flowing for Queensland who finished up with 60% of the possession.
New South Wales kicked off the scoring with an early penalty, quickly matched a few minutes later by Queensland to tie it two all before the Maroons found their feet and the onslaught began.
Origin debutant Dane Gagai was the first try-scorer in a memorable moment for the young Newcastle Knights player whose efforts were followed by five more four-pointers for the winning team before the Blues scored their sole try when Game 2’s man of the match Michael Jennings got over in the second half.
It was a sell-out crowd and a record-breaking win, the 46-point winning margin the highest in history surpassing the previous record of 40 points that the Blues won by 15 years earlier.
It was also only the second time in the game’s history either team has scored in excess of 50 points, the first back in Game 3 of 2000 when NSW won 56 – 16.
The other Queensland try scorers were Greg Inglis, Will Chambers, Matt Gillett, Michael Morgan, Josh Papalii, Darius Boyd and Aidan Guerra.
Man of the Match Johnathan Thurston was brilliant all night and broke a host of his own records including kicking a perfect eight-from-eight to break his coach Meninga’s previous record of seven goals in a single Origin match.
Adding the icing on the cake and the final two points was the final conversion two minutes from the fulltime siren made by retiring centre Justin Hodges.
The only thing marring the match was the lifting tackle on Parker made by Trent Merrin that could see the Dragons player spend four weeks on the sidelines for the grade-two dangerous throw.
Also on report and facing bans are the Cowboys’ James Tamou for a grade-two high tackle and Beau Scott for a grade-one dangerous throw on gutsy Maroons’ skipper Cameron Smith.
With Origin done and dusted for 2015 attention turns back to the NRL for Round 18 where Ladbrokes.com.au are offering the Sydney Roosters on Saturday night as the $2 favourites to beat Penrith!