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Origin Live: NSW v Qld

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Where's the Origin crown for the eighth year in a row? Sadly for the Blues, that's in Queensland.

The Maroons won their eighth-consecutive State of Origin series in the most bizarre fashion. They defied an 8-4 penalty count to win 12-10, with Justin Hodges crossing late to seal the deal. The match ended in incredible scenes, with a streaker - a huge one at that - running almost 100m and being trapped right in the middle of play on the NSW line. Queensland scored in the craziness but it was rightly denied. They managed to hang on and complete what is a heart-breaking loss for the Blues, who were courageous but not clinical enough to make the most of their many opportunities.

Hodges was superb for the Maroons on a night where Greg Inglis was barely seen. He scored and saved two tries to be my pick for the Maroons. The Blues had some stars of their own, with Andrew Fifita and Trent Merrin producing some big plays. But halfback Mitchell Pearce had a night to forget, with everything he touched falling apart in the second half. You feel for him but that may have been his final fling for a while in this arena.

Cam Smith is the official man of the series.

Thanks for joining our coverage and make sure to read the SMH and as the game's best rugby league writers wrap up another Origin series.


Video: Here's Trent Merrin's try under the posts which gave the Blues a sniff but alas, it was to no avail.


FULLTIME Queensland 12 NSW 10.

Qld turn it over but Farah tries a crazy cross-kick and it goes out of bounds. Just 17 seconds left and the Maroons lead 12-10. They might hang on yet Queensland. Unbelievable finish - quite literally.

Video: Here's the footage of Justin Hodges' second-half try ... 

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Bizarre scenes! A streaker has run onto the field, gone the whole way and in the meantime, Qld has scored. And NOW they flash up the warning about not invading the ground. Surely can't be a try - and it won't be. Must go back for a fresh set at least. Complete and utter chaos. They are checking obstruction can you believe. No try thankfully but a scrum to Queensland. Maroons lead 12-10 with just under two minutes to play. Insanity!

Dugan rock solid under that bomb. He's been very good tonight for the Blues. They have three minutes to break the seven-year drought. Maroons lead 12-10.

Huge bomb from Maloney - Pearce is self-destructing in the background - but Fifita hammers Slater halfway through his leap. Penalty to the Maroons and that is a god send at this time of the game. Just four minutes left as the Queenslanders start their set. Qld lead 12-10. Epic encounter.

Suffice to say, the crowd has COME ALIVE.

So it's come to this. Who can come up with the big play for one of these sides? That was huge from Merrin. Brushed off Corey Parker, who is usually a gun defender, and bolts over to set this game alight.

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Maloney kicks the extras. Qld lead 12-10 with eight minutes to play. Strap yourself into your seats. 

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Great charge back from Morris and the Blues need to bring the crowd back into this game. Things a little subdued here at ANZ Stadium. Good chance now but yet another very average kick from Pearce. Gets lucky though as it rebounds off the Qld boot and they get another set. Maroons up 12-4. NSW pressing and they score. TRY to the Blues. Trent Merrin under the posts! A bad miss from Corey Parker and we have a ripper on our hands in Sydney!

Got to love what Cherry-Evans does. A halfback coming on and playing in the backrow - handy to have. Queensland work it out effectively from their half and fire off the kick. Over to the Blues now. They're only down by eight and there's 12 minutes to go so far from panic time for them.

Now Slater slices through for the Maroons. He's rounded up and McManus does very well to take that Thurston kick with Boyd and Inglis looming large. Big task now for the Blues. Discipline the key for Queensland.

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TRY to the Maroons! They don't need much of a chance this lot and Justin Hodges goes through the gap after a lovely ball from Cooper Cronk. The Maroons lead 12-4 with 19 minutes left on the clock.

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Penalty now for the Maroons. Hasn't been too many of them but this will help them enormously. They've tackled all night. And bad news for the blues - torn calf for Luke Lewis. Suspect that's him done for the evening.

Super defence from the Blues and the easily repel that Maroons attack. Yet again, Queensland not keen to go to Inglis. Hodges has seen about five times as much ball tonight as the big Rabbitoh. Maroons lead 8-4. Now Pearce has his kick charged down. He's struggling out there.

The Blues running them ragged here and Jennings finding space on the left! But Pearce with a horror attempt at a grubber - he almost fell over the ball as tried to kick it. That just looked plain old ugly. And now a knock-on from McManus as he fields the kick. Chance here for Queensland. They lead 8-4.

Slater finds space but his pass to Tate is high and fast and bounces over the sideline. Qld had a little chance on the right there as Cherry-Evans finally warms up on the sideline. They need something, the Maroons. Doing it touch despite an 8-4 lead thanks to the early Thurston try.

Hodges again. What a tackle as Jennings flew onto a great ball from Maloney. Second legit try-saver from him tonight and he saves the day. Meninga yet to use Cherry-Evans so far. He gave him 23 very good minutes in game two. Maroons lead - somehow - 8-4.

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