Queensland has won a classic State Of Origin match in Sydney, wrapping up game three 12-10 and securing a record 8th straight series in a row.
Queenslands defense won them this game. Despite a lopsided penalty count and a pile of tackle after tackle defending their own try line, the Queensland scrambling defense was nothing short of sensational. It was a game, and series won on pure effort. It was an unbelievable performance by a champion team.
New South Wales had their chances. If they had even half of the conversion rate of the Queenslanders when they had the ball close to the try line, this wouldn’t have been a close contest at all.
After a very even start to the match New South Wales started to dominate the game in the second 25 minutes leading into halftime. The Blues had the possession, they had the field position and they had Queensland out on their feet. The amazing scrambling defense by the Maroons, and a lack of execution by New South Wales playmakers, saw one opportunity after another literally thrown away.
New South Wales should have taken a sizable lead into halftime. Instead they went in trailing Queensland 8-4, and you got the feeling all the points they had left on the table would come back to turn them.
Queensland lifted in the second half. These two teams threw everything at each other. Time and time again when the game looked like it was going to be broken open by a break, brilliant cover defense would come from no where and save the day. This was a classic contest that was going down to the wire.
When Justin Hodges crossed for a try with just under 20 minutes to go, the mountain got even higher for the Blues to climb. The unconverted try gave Queensland a 12-4 lead. The Blues needed some magic to get into this one.
With 10 minutes remaining in the match, and the Blues once again spluttering in attack as they were camped on the Maroons try line, a hard straight run by Trent Merrin brought New South Wales back into the game. He crossed under the posts and the conversion turned this into a game again. Queensland were still leading 12-10, but this was without doubt the best chance for New South Wales to win a series in years.
They just couldn’t do it…
Queensland’s kicking game kept New South Wales from getting the field position they needed. While the Blues forward pack was fantastic in this match, the finishing touches from key players just wasn’t there.
Queensland would have scored once again at the death if it wasn’t for some fat idiot that was allowed to run onto the field, naked, and interfere with play. The Maroons crossed for a try but play had been badly effected and unfortunately a scrum was called to re-start play.
The 12-10 win was well deserved by the Queenslanders. They turned around a horror performance in game one to win yet another series and set themselves up for a decade of dominance. This is one of the great winning runs in sporting history. As hard as it is to watch as a New South Wales supporter, it is amazing to see a historic team like this Queensland side achieve so much.
For for a few points I want to make. I know you’ve been waiting for this. Are you ready….
Mitchell Pearce’s representative career is over.
Pearce wasn’t just bad in this game, he was detrimental to the teams performance. He was so bad that after the game he was seen on television crying. He should have cried. Hard. There should have been snot and everything.
You don’t have to guess what I will give him in my player rating tomorrow. You know already…
Robbie Farah wasn’t too far behind Pearce. Farah’s kicking game was diabolical. His kick to end the match summed up his performance in this game.
I gave Aaron Woods my first ever rating of 0 for his non performance in game two of the series. He lived up to those lofty heights again. He was abysmal. I have no idea why the NSW selectors decided to waste another game on a forward that runs around giving away free hugs for a living.
Outside of those three I thought every other player on the field was fantastic.
My player of the series would have either been Justin Hodges, or Corey Parker. I was critical of Parker in game one, but in games two and three he was the best forward on the field.
Cameron Smith had his best game of the series in game three. I thought that once again Jonathan Thurston was shut down pretty well by New South Wales. Billy Slater also didn’t have the dangerous display we are use to seeing from him.
This was a really fun series to watch. It had a bit of everything. To finish the series with a classic game three like this was fitting. This was one of the best State Of Origin games of all time.
Now we look towards next season. Queensland don’t need any changes. New South Wales do though.
The lesson to take from this series is that you can’t manufacture a great player. Great players step up every time they are called upon. You don’t have to wait for them to “get it”.
The sooner New South Wales selectors realize this, the sooner the Blues will really challenge for a series win. Until then, Queensland has nothing to fear. They are taking on a short handed Blues side. No wonder they have won 8 straight series in a row.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com