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2021 State of Origin Game Three, New South Wales 18 Queensland 20 – Report

Brendan Wood reviews Queensland’s thrilling 20-18 win over New South Wales in Origin Game Three. Here’s how the game went.

SCOREBOARD

New South Wales 18

Tries: Latrell Mitchell (10), Jack Wighton (48) Api Koroisau (68)

Goals: Latrell Mitchell (12, 50, 70)

Queensland 20

Tries: Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (18) Ben Hunt (57, 64)

Goals: Valentine Holmes (5, 20) Daly Cherry-Evans (58, 65)

Player of the Year Points

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3 pts – Ben Hunt (Queensland)
2 pts – Kalyn Ponga (Queensland)
1 pt – Dale Finucane (New South Wales)

MATCH REPORT

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1st Half

The first Origin game played on the Gold Coast started with the usual Origin intensity. Queensland got the early rub of the green when Latrell Mitchell made an error off a Cameron Munster kick. The Maroons were awarded a penalty soon after and opted to take the two points.

In the following set, Cameron Murray produced a one-on-one steal deep inside Queensland territory to get the Blues on the front foot. Despite the field position, the Blues were unable to take advantage on the scoreboard.

At the 10 minute mark, the Blues split the Maroons defence when Latrell Mitchell stepped off his left foot, beating Dane Gagai to score the first try of the game.

For the first time in the series, the Maroons found some energy on a kick return which resulted in points. Cameron Munster put Tino Fa’asuamaleaui into a gap, who offloaded for Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to score a try on Origin debut.

In the next 10 minutes, the Blues had some opportunities close to the Queensland line but struggled to hold possession. Conversely the Maroons began to win the momentum through the middle of the field.

Eventually that momentum paid off as the Maroons were awarded a penalty, when Latrell Mitchell obstructed the kick-chase. They were able to pin the Blues inside their own end, forcing several repeat sets. Ultimately, they weren’t able to extend their lead as the Blues escaped unscathed.

The home side held firm the remainder of the half to keep their two point lead intact at the break.

HALF-TIME: New South Wales 6 Queensland 8

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2nd Half

The Maroons started the second half on a sour note, with Valentine Holmes ruled out the rest of the game with a shoulder injury. AJ Brimson was the man to replace him, but his start was far from perfect.

He made an early mistake when playing the ball to give the Blues an early chance. The visitors made the most of their opportunity when Jack Wighton broke through the line to score and get the Blues back in front.

Despite conceding an early try, the Maroons fought their way back into the contest. Daly Cherry-Evans went for a 40/20 and Josh Addo-Carr made an error trying to keep the ball in play. With a full set inside the Blues half, the Maroons grabbed the lead back. Ben Hunt scampered out of dummy-half and burrowed his way over the line for a try.

The Maroons backed up their first try of the second half with a linebreak to Kalyn Ponga, who eventually succumbed to the defence deep inside the Blues half. The ball spread to the left and Ben Hunt was the beneficiary again, as he received an offload from Kurt Capewell and found space on the inside for his second try in 10 minutes.

Despite the flow of points towards the Queenslanders, the Blues would not be deterred. They wrestled the momentum back and found a response. Mitchell Moses grubbered in behind the line and Api Koroisau regathered to score a try on Origin debut, cutting the margin back to two.

With time winding down, the Blues received a penalty on halfway and opted to attempt a shot a goal. Latrell Mitchell couldn’t make the distance and the kick fell just metres short. As a result, the Maroons we able to hold on and record a two point win, snuffing out the Blues hopes of a 3-0 series whitewash.

FULL-TIME: New South Wales 18 Queensland 20

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Injuries

Valentine Holmes – shoulder

Match Review Committee

to be advised

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