Queensland beat NSW to avoid State of Origin whitewash
|Holden State of Origin: Game three|
|Queensland (8) 18|
|Tries: Holmes 2, Cherry-Evans Goals: Holmes 3|
|New South Wales (12) 12|
|Tries: T Trbojevic, Tedesco Goals: Cleary 2|
Queensland avoided a 3-0 whitewash by winning the final match of the 2018 State of Origin series against New South Wales in Brisbane.
The Blues had already sealed their first title since 2014.
Queensland led 8-0 but NSW, a man down with James Maloney sin-binned, replied with tries from Tom Trbojevic and James Tedesco to go 12-8 up at half-time.
Valentine Holmes’ second score levelled the match and Daly Cherry-Evans’ try secured victory for the Maroons.
Queensland have dominated State of Origin fixtures during the past decade, winning 11 of the previous 12 series before New South Wales’ success this year.
However, the Blues were unable to complete a 3-0 series victory for the first time since 2000, despite leading at the end of a first half in which their defence excelled under constant pressure.
Those exertions appeared to have an effect on their players, but for one late, frenetic passage of attacking play when Queensland just about held on to their six-point advantage.
Australia’s World Cup-winning full-back Billy Slater captained Queensland in his final representative match and was denied an early try by the video referee, who deemed he had knocked on during an aerial duel.
Queensland: Slater; Holmes, Gagai, Chambers, Oates; Munster, Cherry-Evans; Arrow, McCullough, Papalii, Cooper, Kaufusi, McGuire.
Replacements: Hunt, Wallace, Hess, Glasby.
New South Wales: Tedesco; T Trbojevic, Mitchell, Roberts, Addo-Carr; Maloney, Cleary; Klemmer, Cook, Vaughan, Cordner, Frizell, J Trbojevic.
Replacements: De Belin, Sims, Crichton, Peachey.