Almanac Rugby League – State of Origin Game III Review: Consolation for Queensland but challenges ahead

 

 

 

 

The whole series never felt like it belonged to Queensland, and last night’s consolation win was no different.

 

Despite getting on the board first with a penalty kick in the early stages and fighting through disallowed try calls to carry a slender lead into the half, the Maroons couldn’t have been more precariously balanced. Even in their home area of Gold Coast, the rowdy crowd didn’t convey the same Queensland feel that Maroons teams received in the opening two games. They may have ended up holding their own a lot better last night, but the boo-ing and behaviour of the Queensland faithful summed up the disappointment of such a horror series.

 

Last year Daly Cherry-Evans was the hero holding the trophy aloft as his side of underdogs finished an unbelievable win against all odds. Now, not even a year later, he was boo-ed when standing up to speak post-match, the Gold Coast crowd fully reminiscent of his decision to ditch the Titans back to Manly years ago.

 

But there were plenty of positives from a Queensland side who hadn’t even lodged over ten points for the series to date. A maiden brace of tries to Ben Hunt ensured Queensland maintained a slender lead throughout the entire contest, including a bursting run to put his side in front in the second half that capped off a superb and imperfect run up the field.

 

The helmeted presence of Kalyn Ponga made such a difference, as the No 1 was everywhere, important for his side when they needed a boost to rejuvenate themselves. Hunt received Player of the Match honours for his attacking effort, while Kurt Capewell was incredibly strong when it mattered.

 

But that didn’t mean New South Wales were out of it. The Blues, despite being down on their usual form, still had a golden chance to win the match in the final ten minutes. Multiple attacking thrusts just metres from the try line came up empty, pushing Latrell Mitchell into a monster penalty goal attempt from the halfway mark that fell tantalisingly short. They fell agonisingly short of a perfect series that fully made up for last year’s shock loss. Knowing their competitiveness, they’ll spend the next year prepping how to go one better and make up for a dogged defeat in Game Three. For the Maroons, it’s a consolation they deserved, with the win showing what they need to do if they are to again become more competitive in future.

 

To read Liam Hauser’s take on this match click here.

 

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Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.

 

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Comments

  1. I was just happy to watch a competitive game!

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