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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

  • Brett Morris scores the first  try of the match despite the best efforts of Sam Thaiday to hold him up.
  • Brent Tate punches Greg Bird early in the game. Somehow Queensland got the penalty.
  • Brent Tate is tackled by four Blues players.
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