Queensland held on to secure their first Origin series since 2017 with a 20-14 victory over New South Wales in Brisbane.
The home side won the first game of the series in Adelaide before the Blues levelled it in Sydney last week but the Maroons were strong in their own state and took a home a deserved victory despite finishing with only 12 men after a nervy finish.
Both sides scored a try and converted it in the opening ten minutes with Valentine Holmes opening the scoring for the home side followed by James Tedesco, who would leave the field with a head knock in the first half.
Queensland certainly had the better of the first half and they took a deserved lead in at the break thanks to Cameron Munster and his brilliant set-up play for Edrick Lee.
The Maroons kept up the pressure in the second half and extended their lead through Holmes’ penalty and then Harry Grant’s first Origin try on his debut.
But New South Wales closed the gap in the final quarter. Daniel Tupou crossed on the left before Nathan Cleary’s penalty made the difference only six points.
Corey Allan was sin binned in the final three minutes of the match for Queensland after he took out a chasing Josh Addo-Carr but in the end, the winning side’s defence was up to the challenge.
Maroons: Allan, Holmes, Gagai, B Lee, E Lee, Munster, Cherry-Evans, Welch, Friend, Papalii, Capewell, Kaufusi, Faasuamaleaui; Interchanges: Su’A, Grant, Collins, Arrow
Tries: Holmes, E Lee, Grant; Goals: Holmes 4
Sin bin: Allan (77) – professional foul
Blues: Tedesco, Tupou, Gutherson, Wighton, Addo-Carr, Walker, Cleary, Saifiti, Cook, Haas, Crichton, Frizell, Trbojevic; Interchanges: Finucane, Paulo, Brown, Yeo
Tries: Tedesco, Tupou; Goals: Cleary 3
A full match report of the deciding State of Origin game will feature in Monday’s League Express.