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New South Wales Vs. Queensland
2016 NRL State of Origin, 14 July, 2016
|ANZ Stadium, Sydney, NSW|
|New South Wales 18 defeated Queensland 14|
|New South Wales||Queensland|
|Referee: Sutton, G|
|Touch judges: Younis, J & Wise, M|
The New South Wales Blues have found a way to stop the Queensland Maroons from taking a clean sweep in the 2016 State of Origin series with a final-minute try being the difference to win Game 3 by four points at ANZ Stadium.
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After spending most of the game on the attack, the Blues somehow found themselves behind with just a couple of minutes on the clock but a full field break from James Tedesco, which turned in to a try for Michael Jennings handed them victory.
Parts of the match also threatened to boil over, with numerous push and shoves following points, a pair of sin bins and tensions running high as the Blues tried to starve off a series whitewash.
So, at Homebush, the Blues send Paul Gallen out a winner but the Maroons still win yet another series.
New South Wales Blues 18
Queensland Maroons 14
There are still storylines to be told as the Queensland Maroons aim for a State of Origin series sweep against the New South Wales Blues, who have made some changes. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage of Game 3 from 8:15pm (AEST).
The Blues are back on home soil for Game 3, and must face the prospect of going down an embarrassing 3-0.
If that wasn’t enough, Paul Gallen is playing his final State of Origin game and Laurie Daley is hanging onto his coaching job by a string.
It’s also a big opportunity for the squad to get more experience under their belt at the highest level before the 2017 series, where two of the games will be played in the Sunshine State.
There were certainly positive signs for the Blues in Game 2 though, even if they did go down by ten points. They played an aggressive brand of rugby league and put up points – they need to carry that over.
Matt Moylan was originally dropped from the side for James Tedesco, but has since been brought back onto the bench with Adam Reynolds injured – meaning Jack Bird will start in the halves (although there are on-going rumours Moylan will start, with Bird on the bench).
Josh Dugan also returns in the centres for Josh Morris, with Wade Graham to debut in the second row, meaning Paul Gallen shifts to the front row, James Tamou goes back to the bench, and Greg Bird is out.
The Maroons, are trying to send Corey Parker, who will retire at the end of the season, out a winner. Of course, the opportunity for a series sweep doesn’t present itself every day of the week, so there will be no motivation issues.
The squad is fairly stable from Game 2, although they do welcome back Nate Myles and have Gavin Cooper on debut. Effectively they replace Josh Papalii and Michael Morgan, with Myles slotting into the front row and Josh McGuire back to the bench.
With an extra forward on the bench, it is clear what sort of game they expect – one played up and down the middle, low scoring and very physical.
Having Cooper on the bench, apart from his incredible combination with Johnathan Thurston, will give the Maroons an advantage in physicality late in the game.
Despite the changes and different feel of the Blues squad, this Maroons team are too strong. It will be low scoring, but Corey Parker will be sent out a winner.
Maroons by 8.
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Follow Scott on Twitter @sk_pryde