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Big games bring out the beast, and at just the right time

Queensland 21 NSW 20

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Queensland wins State of Origin

It was close, but not close enough for the NSW Blues as they lost the State of Origin series for the seventh year in a row.

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THE sleeping giant was awoken. And there is no more a giant of a team than this Queensland one, waking this morning having extended their period of dominance to seven years.

MATCH STATS/AS IT HAPPENED

The Maroons have hardly been magnificent through the series but they muscled up when it counted. They left it late, as they invariably do; the size of the margin will hurt the Blues just as much as the defeat itself. NSW will know how close they came to toppling this beast.

Brett Morris scores the first  try of the match despite the best efforts of Sam Thaiday to hold him up. Click for more photos

State of Origin, Game 3, 2012

Pictures from State of Origin 3 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The Blues improved greatly from their previous efforts but the Maroons managed to hold them off for one more year at least. In a typically torrid match, Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk snapped a 40 metre field goal which proved the difference at the end of a monumental series. All images courtesy of Getty Images and AAP. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH. Photo: Getty Images/Cameron Spencer

Five-eighth Johnathan Thurston, who scored a try and set up another, was the best example of the Maroons lifting when they needed to, although the late field goal of halfback Cooper Cronk - also criticised for a quiet campaign - ran a close second. They just don't know how to give up.

Somehow, this match lived up to the promise. It was only going about as long as it takes to tie a pair of boots when it erupted. Tempers flared when Tim Grant gave Brent Tate a working over on the ground, while the Maroons winger returned serve, giving Greg Bird a whack on the ground. Only in Origin can the fire be so predictable yet unpredictable; predictable in that you know it will happen, and unpredictable in that you just never know what kooky antics are going to be the cause of it.

The ensuing penalty, against Paul Gallen for throwing the first punch, let the Maroons ask the first questions. The Blues had the answers, and when they forged their way out of their territory, winger Brett Morris made the first bust with his first touch of the series. Maroons lock Corey Parker was caught offside soon after and five-eighth Todd Carney converted.

The Maroons were caught napping six minutes later. Brett Morris, proving an inspired replacement for Akuila Uate, wrestled his way over with only Maroons second-rower Sam Thaiday in a position to stop him. This was no repeat of last year, when the Maroons scored four tries in 33 minutes. Still, the Maroons did score next; they found success, as in game one, by shifting left. Darius Boyd scored but the work of Parker and Thurston should not be forgotten.

The pressure on the Blues in the first half was extraordinary. They spent much of it defending - and mostly in their own half.

Then came the confusion. For all the wonderful goal-line defence, it took a missed tackle 80 metres towards the other end to let the Maroons back in. Thurston handled three times in two plays, first with his show-and-go that fooled Blues half Mitchell Pearce, then with a simple catch and pass; then he was there to accept Parker's offload to score.

By now the Blues were unravelling; lazy with a kick-off that sailed out on the full, then fatigued under pressure. It told with five minutes left in the half. Hodges ran around the back of Ben Hannant, who ran a decoy; Farah was slightly impeded by the Maroons prop's run, yet the centre's try was allowed, perhaps due to the presence of Beau Scott, who had more of a play at Hodges than Farah ever did but failed to get a touch.

Try as they might, the Blues halves simply could not get into the contest.

They were still splintering through the middle. Hooker Cameron Smith, unnervingly quiet in the first two games, split the defense and sent fullback Greg Inglis on a dash spectacularly brought to an end by Josh Morris against the right post pad.

The Maroons felt more threatened this year than during their era of dominance. Coach Mal Meninga went a bit loopy, but when his players got mad, they got even. And then when the match and the series was on the line, they struck strongest.

QUEENSLAND 21 (D Boyd J Hodges J Thurston tries J Thurston 4 goals C Cronk field goal) bt NEW SOUTH WALES 20 (J Morris B Morris B Stewart tries T Carney 4 goals) at Suncorp Stadium. Referee: Tony Archer, Ben Cummins.

Game 1: QLD 18 bt NSW 10

Game 2: NSW 16 bt QLD 12

Game 3: QLD 21 bt NSW 20

Related Coverage

Queensland takes the Origin (Thumbnail) Queensland wins State of Origin

It was close, but not close enough for the NSW Blues as they lost the State of Origin series for the seventh year in a row.

Brent Tate punches Greg Bird. State of Origin, Game 3, 2012

Pictures from State of Origin 3 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane. The Blues improved greatly from their previous efforts but the Maroons managed to hold them off for one more year at least. In a typically torrid match, Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk snapped a 40 metre field goal which proved the difference at the end of a monumental series. All images courtesy of Getty Images and AAP. Follow us at http://twitter.com/photosSMH.

Blues suffer yet another case of heartache

A 40-METRE field goal from the man who replaced the great Darren Lockyer in Queensland's State of Origin side.

'What-ifs' aplenty, and there will be a few regrets as well

Quietly, nervously, the question had been posed. What if NSW got it right. What if they had selected and combined the right players. What if they made the Maroons unusually tense before the game, and compounded the local fears by making a clean, fast start.

How they rated: NSW

Michael Cowley rates the Blues in Origin III.

How they rated: QLD

Josh Rakic rates the Queensland players in Origin III.

Five things we learnt from last night's match

This game can be an absolute heartbreaker.

'Unfinished business' set to keep Ricky with Blues

AFTER coming within one point of stopping Queensland from a seventh consecutive series win, NSW coach Ricky Stuart was last night asked if he had ''unfinished business'' in the job.

Cronk seals Maroons victory in full-throttle, emotional finale

On a chilly Tuesday night, Cooper Cronk stayed back drilling field goals from 40m out at training.

'We won by one': Taylor flips Blues the (Greg?) bird

Dave Taylor didn’t play for Queensland last night but he still found himself a star on social media after a screenshot of him seemingly giving the finger to NSW lit up Twitter and Facebook.

Brisbane nurses Maroon hangover after 'biggest night in history' on Caxton Street

Nursing a sore head this morning? You're in good company.

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NRL Season 2015

Round 1
Thu, 05 MarTimes shown AEDT
BRI vs SOU 20:05SUN
Fri, 06 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs MAN 19:45Pirtek Stadium
Sat, 07 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs WAR 16:30HS
GCT vs WST 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
NQL vs SYD 21:001300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 08 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN vs CBY 16:00Pepper Stadium
CRO vs CBR 18:30Remondis Stadium
Mon, 09 MarTimes shown AEDT
STG vs MEL 19:00Jubilee Oval
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Fri, 13 MarTimes shown AEDT
CBY vs PAR 19:35ANZ
CRO vs BRI 20:35Remondis Stadium
Sat, 14 MarTimes shown AEDT
PEN vs GCT 16:30Carrington Park
MAN vs MEL 19:00BO
NQL vs NEW 21:001300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 15 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU vs SYD 16:00ANZ
CBR vs WAR 18:30GIO Stadium
Mon, 16 MarTimes shown AEDT
WST vs STG 19:00CSS
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Fri, 20 MarTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBY 19:35BO
BRI vs NQL 20:35SUN
Sat, 21 MarTimes shown AEDT
WAR vs PAR 15:00MSS
CBR vs STG 17:30GIO Stadium
MEL vs CRO 19:30AAMI
Sun, 22 MarTimes shown AEDT
SOU vs WST 16:00ANZ
GCT vs NEW 18:30Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 23 MarTimes shown AEDT
SYD vs PEN 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Fri, 27 MarTimes shown AEDT
PAR vs SOU 19:35Pirtek Stadium
WST vs CBY 19:35ANZ
Sat, 28 MarTimes shown AEDT
NEW vs PEN 15:00HS
CRO vs GCT 17:30Remondis Stadium
STG vs MAN 19:30WIN
Sun, 29 MarTimes shown AEDT
WAR vs BRI 12:00MSS
SYD vs CBR 14:00AS
Mon, 30 MarTimes shown AEDT
NQL vs MEL 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Fri, 03 AprTimes shown AEDT
CBY vs SOU 16:00ANZ
GCT vs BRI 20:35Cbus Super Stadium
Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
MAN vs CBR 17:30To Be Confirmed
NEW vs STG 19:30HS
Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
SYD vs CRO 16:00AS
Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR vs WST 15:00ANZ
MEL vs WAR 17:00AAMI
PEN vs NQL 19:00Pepper Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
BRI vs SYD 19:35SUN
CRO vs NEW 19:35Remondis Stadium
Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
PAR vs GCT 15:00Pirtek Stadium
WAR vs WST 17:30MSS
PEN vs MAN 19:30Pepper Stadium
Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
CBR vs MEL 14:00GIO Stadium
STG vs CBY 16:00ANZ
Mon, 13 AprTimes shown AEST
SOU vs NQL 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MAN 19:35ANZ
STG vs BRI 19:35Jubilee Oval
Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
GCT vs PEN 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
NQL vs WAR 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
WST vs CBR 14:00VAS
NEW vs PAR 16:00HS
Mon, 20 AprTimes shown AEST
CRO vs SOU 19:00Remondis Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
CBY vs WST 19:45ANZ
Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
WAR vs GCT 12:00MSS
NEW vs NQL 14:00HS
SYD vs STG 16:00AS
MEL vs MAN 18:15AAMI
BRI vs PAR 20:00SUN
Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CRO 14:00Pepper Stadium
SOU vs CBR 16:00Barlow Park
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
BRI vs PEN 19:35SUN
SYD vs WST 19:35AS
Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs GCT 15:00GIO Stadium
CRO vs WAR 17:30Remondis Stadium
NQL vs CBY 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NEW 14:00BO
PAR vs MEL 16:00Pirtek Stadium
Mon, 11 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs STG 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 10
Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
CBY vs SYD 19:35ANZ
NQL vs BRI 19:351300 Smiles Stadium
Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
PAR vs WAR 15:00Pirtek Stadium
GCT vs CRO 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
MEL vs SOU 19:30AAMI
Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
STG vs CBR 14:00WIN
NEW vs WST 16:00HS
Mon, 18 MayTimes shown AEST
MAN vs PEN 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 11
Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
SOU vs PAR 19:45ANZ
Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
WST vs NQL 19:30CSS
Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CBY 16:00GIO Stadium
Mon, 25 MayTimes shown AEST
NEW vs BRI 19:00HS
View All Fixtures
Round 12
Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
PEN vs PAR 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
GCT vs SOU 15:00Cbus Super Stadium
CBR vs BRI 17:30GIO Stadium
NQL vs MAN 19:301300 Smiles Stadium
Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
WAR vs NEW 14:00MSS
STG vs CRO 16:00Jubilee Oval
Mon, 01 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs MEL 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 13
Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MAN 19:35SUN
WST vs GCT 19:35VAS
Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CBR 15:00HS
SOU vs WAR 17:30nib Stadium
PEN vs MEL 19:30Pepper Stadium
Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
CRO vs SYD 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs STG 16:00ANZ
PAR vs NQL 19:00Pirtek Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 14
Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
WST vs SOU 19:45ANZ
Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
WAR vs SYD 18:00MSS
Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
GCT vs CBY 16:00Cbus Super Stadium
Mon, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
MEL vs PAR 19:00AAMI
View All Fixtures
Round 15
Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
MAN vs WST 19:45BO
Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NQL 15:00GIO Stadium
GCT vs WAR 17:30Cbus Super Stadium
CBY vs PEN 19:30ANZ
Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
NEW vs CRO 14:00HS
MEL vs BRI 16:00AAMI
Mon, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
STG vs SYD 19:00AS
View All Fixtures
Round 16
Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
BRI vs NEW 19:35SUN
SOU vs MAN 19:35ANZ
Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
WAR vs CBR 15:00MSS
NQL vs CRO 17:301300 Smiles Stadium
PAR vs STG 19:30Pirtek Stadium
Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
SYD vs GCT 14:00AS
WST vs PEN 16:00VAS
Mon, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
CBY vs MEL 19:00Belmore Sports Ground
View All Fixtures
Round 17
Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SOU 19:45Pepper Stadium
Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
STG vs NQL 19:30WIN
Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs CRO 16:00BO
Mon, 06 JulTimes shown AEST
WST vs PAR 19:00ANZ
View All Fixtures
Round 18
Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs NEW 19:45GIO Stadium
Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs SYD 17:30Pepper Stadium
CBY vs BRI 19:30ANZ
Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
WAR vs MEL 14:00MSS
CRO vs STG 16:00Remondis Stadium
Mon, 13 JulTimes shown AEST
GCT vs MAN 19:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 19
Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CBY 19:35ANZ
MEL vs PEN 19:35AAMI
Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
CBR vs CRO 15:00GIO Stadium
NEW vs GCT 17:30HS
STG vs SOU 19:30SCG
Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
SYD vs WAR 14:00AS
BRI vs WST 16:00SUN
Mon, 20 JulTimes shown AEST
MAN vs NQL 19:00BO
View All Fixtures
Round 20
Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
BRI vs GCT 19:35SUN
WST vs SYD 19:35ANZ
Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
WAR vs MAN 15:00MSS
SOU vs NEW 17:30ANZ
MEL vs STG 19:30AAMI
Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
PEN vs CBR 14:00Pepper Stadium
CBY vs CRO 16:00Belmore Sports Ground
Mon, 27 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs PAR 19:001300 Smiles Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 21
Thu, 30 JulTimes shown AEST
WAR vs CRO 22:00MSS
Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
NQL vs CBR 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
SOU vs PEN 00:00ANZ
SYD vs CBY 00:00AS
MAN vs BRI 00:00To Be Confirmed
WST vs MEL 00:00VAS
GCT vs PAR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 22
Thu, 06 AugTimes shown AEST
WAR vs STG 22:00MSS
Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs CBY 00:00SUN
NEW vs SYD 00:00HS
CBR vs WST 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SOU 00:00BO
CRO vs NQL 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs GCT 00:00AAMI
PAR vs PEN 00:30TIO
View All Fixtures
Round 23
Thu, 13 AugTimes shown AEST
BRI vs STG 00:00SUN
CBY vs GCT 00:00To Be Confirmed
NQL vs SOU 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
PEN vs WAR 00:00Pepper Stadium
CBR vs MAN 00:00GIO Stadium
SYD vs PAR 00:00AS
CRO vs MEL 00:00Remondis Stadium
WST vs NEW 00:00CSS
View All Fixtures
Round 24
Wed, 19 AugTimes shown AEST
WAR vs NQL 22:00MSS
Thu, 20 AugTimes shown AEST
STG vs PEN 00:00WIN
SOU vs CBY 00:00ANZ
SYD vs BRI 00:00AS
MAN vs PAR 00:00BO
CRO vs WST 00:00Remondis Stadium
MEL vs NEW 00:00AAMI
GCT vs CBR 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 25
Thu, 27 AugTimes shown AEST
PAR vs CRO 00:00Pirtek Stadium
NEW vs CBY 00:00HS
SOU vs BRI 00:00AS
CBR vs PEN 00:00GIO Stadium
MAN vs SYD 00:00BO
MEL vs NQL 00:00AAMI
WST vs WAR 00:00CSS
GCT vs STG 00:00Cbus Super Stadium
View All Fixtures
Round 26
Thu, 03 SepTimes shown AEST
BRI vs MEL 00:00SUN
CBY vs WAR 00:00ANZ
NQL vs GCT 00:001300 Smiles Stadium
STG vs WST 00:00ANZ
PAR vs CBR 00:00Pirtek Stadium
PEN vs NEW 00:00Pepper Stadium
SYD vs SOU 00:00AS
CRO vs MAN 00:00Remondis Stadium
View All Fixtures
NRL Ladder 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D Pts
Brisbane Broncos 0 0 0 0 0
Canberra Raiders 0 0 0 0 0
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 0 0 0 0 0
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 0 0 0 0 0
Gold Coast Titans 0 0 0 0 0
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles 0 0 0 0 0
Melbourne Storm 0 0 0 0 0
Newcastle Knights 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 
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