Almanac Rugby League – State of Origin: Queensland win convincingly

Like the way of the five metre gap in defence looking at the points you may have missed from the third and deciding game of the State of Origin series won 22-6 by Queensland in Brisbane to claim a 2-1 series victory. Unlike our normal column you likely saw the fixture between the Blues and the Maroons but this is what we have noted at Five Metre Gap HQ.


A Billy Slater off-load led to the first of three tries to Valentine Holmes as Queensland crossed 15 minutes into the game. A Slater bust and final pass to Cooper Cronk almost saw a second try three minutes later only for Cronk to dive short of the line and lose possession. Cronk redeemed himself with a smart kick back to the left after Queensland looked like they may score moments earlier on the right edge.  Queensland spurned a second major try-scoring chance before the interval when Cameron Smith could have passed to an unmarked Michael Morgan and when Josh Dugan scored from a kick Laurie Daley’s side were in with a chance. However, when Holmes crossed for his hat-trick four-pointer with 20 minutes to go the result had an air of inevitability about it. That was confirmed when debutant Cameron Munster grabbed his second try assist for the evening as Jarrod Wallace scored seven minutes later.


The play for the final try was a snapshot into the evening. Munster (who was dynamic in his first game at this level running 12 times – more than the nine runs combined of the Blues halves) falling away to his left as he was tackled, found Titans forward Wallace back on the inside in acres of space as the Blues players seemed intent on following the ball carrier with not enough players covering the runners back towards the posts. The result sealed an eleventh series triumph in 12 years and a second straight series victory for Queensland coach Kevin Walters.


Smith and fellow Maroon Matt Gillett played every minute of the series in the Queensland pack with only Blues captain Boyd Cordner coming close to doing that having only missed the last few minutes of game two. In a side who used 26 players (a record for the Sunshine state team in a series) Smith and Gillett were ever-present.


Newcastle back Dane Gagai was named Wally Lewis medalist as the player of the series. Gagai was unlucky not to get man of the match honours after game two and his 165 metres was a match best. In the Queensland pack Josh McGuire’s 129 metres led the way whilst David Kellmer ran for 149 metres for the Blues.


Blues halfback Mitchell Pearce has now slumped to 0-5 in deciding Origin fixtures and whilst some players (including Cordner) had run correct lines early in the game his kicking game was below par for this level. The result wasn’t a referendum on his ability at Origin level, even if the Blues had prevailed in Brisbane on Wednesday night it wouldn’t have been a redemption as 1-4 is still mediocre, but the Blues have more to look at than the efforts of the Roosters halfback in game three if they are intent of playing the blame game. Or they could just accept this is an iconic Queensland group stacked with legends who are also a champion team.

About Hamish Neal

Born in Lower Hutt New Zealand Hamish is forever wedded to all things All Black, All Whites, Tall Blacks and more. Writing more nowadays in his 'spare time' (what is that anyway?) but still with a passion for broadcasting. Has worked in various sports development roles in England, Northern Ireland and Australia.



  2. Me again!
    If your article was shown in the League states, I’m sure you’d have many more people having their say. Not that comments matter to that extent, but I would have thought that Melburnians, being sports’ nuts, (I’d better not forget WA and SA followers) surely would have watched this classic game and had something to say?

  3. Sorry for the delayed reply Jan. Maybe Origin, due to the Qld, dominance is old hat for some. Rating would suggest it’s still a juggernaut and it will be interesting to see the game to be played in Victoria next season.

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