Queensland side smash through Blue Wall for victory
QUEENSLAND'S champion side finally pulled down the seemingly-impenetrable New South Wales "Blue Wall", preventing a State of Origin series clean sweep with a dominating 32-8 third game win at Suncorp Stadium last night.
Talk before the game of a dead rubber was blown away in the second half when Gold Coast team-mates Nate Myles and Greg Bird smashed each other with Myles placed on report for raising his forearm as Bird leapt off the ground to meet him head on.
It was the mate against mate stuff that Origin was built on in 1980 when Arthur Beetson whacked his Parramatta club mate Mick Cronin.
The incident fired up the Blues, with centre Josh Dugan careering through a gap from the ensuing penalty to cut the margin to 14-8 and bring the game to life for the 50,155 spectators.
The game almost erupted in the final 10 minutes when Queensland centre Justin Hodges took offence to a rodeo-like tackle from Josh Reynolds, sending the NSW five-eighth to the turf with a whack in the back.
A few minutes later, Maroons winger Darius Boyd joined team-mate Inglis as Origin's leading try scorer with his 15th four-pointer as Queensland took its advantage out to 20-8.
With the big crowd going wild and NSW clearly out on their feet, Aidan Guerra got the try he deserved off a great ball from Hodges who had floated to the left side of the field, and returning Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk added the icing on the cake with a late four-pointer.
NSW had finally run out of gas after denying Queensland at least three tries in the opening 40 minutes.
Inglis got over the line twice, but each time video referees Bernard Sutton and Luke Patten said "no try".
Guerra was also denied after muscling his way over.
The result was the same for Boyd in the 32 minute.
For a while it looked like Laurie Daley's men were going to repeat the shut-out from Sydney until replacement Daley Cherry-Evans jinked through a gap and set sail for the try line a few minutes before half-time.
With Melbourne team-mates Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk in support, Cherry-Evans cleverly grubbered ahead, the ball bouncing sweetly for Smith to score his fifth try in his 32nd Origin to give the Maroons a 6-2 lead at the break.
It was Queensland's first try since Boyd crossed in the 56th minute of the 12-8 first Origin loss in Brisbane in May - the 100th game between the two states since 1980.
In the end, the Blues' much-vaunted defence that had held so firm against Queensland's most lethal left side attack of Inglis and Boyd, and kept the Maroons try-less to clinch the series 6-4 in Sydney last month, was simply overwhelmed.
NSW captain Paul Gallen was named Wally Lewis player of the series, triggering a predictable response from the parochial Queensland crowd who stayed for the presentation.