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Queensland vs New South Wales
State Of Origin, 11 July, 2018
|Fulltime - Queensland 18, New South Wales 12|
|Queensland||New South Wales|
|Referee: Gerard Sutton|
|Touch judges: Brett Suttor & Chris Butler|
|Video Referee: Ben Galea|
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There are no such thing as dead rubbers in State of Origin. The Queensland Maroons have pulled off a stunning six-point victory over the New South Wales Blues to take Game 3 of the 2018 series at Suncorp Stadium.
The Maroons dominated the first half, but went into the sheds behind. They couldn’t crack a gallant Blues defensive line, with their only points at the break a Valentine Holmes intercept try and a penalty goal.
The Blues were down 8-0 at one point, but went to the sheds in the lead after a Tom Trbojevic intercept try and James Tedesco crash over on the halftime siren.
They then lead 12-8 at halftime, but it would be the last of the scoring for New South Wales.
Queensland finally managed to crack the Blues from close-range through Holmes after surviving a short onslaught at the start of the second half, making the game tied up again.
Daly Cherry-Evans then scored off a break, with the Maroons picking apart a tired-looking Blues defence.
Somehow, the Blues managed to not concede points again, but despite throwing the kitchen sink at their opponents int he last five minutes, couldn’t cross either, losing Game 3 despite taking the series.
Queensland Maroons 18
New South Wales Blues 12
More Origin 3
» REPORT: Queensland send Slater off a winner, NSW win series
» Seven talking points from Origin 3
» State of Origin 3 live scores, blog
» WATCH: Game 3 match highlights
» WATCH: Valentine Holmes saves Queensland with jaw-dropping interception
» WATCH: Tariq Sims has brain fade – tackles marker
A State of Origin sweep is on the line for the New South Wales Blues when they travel north for Game 3 against the Queensland Maroons. Join The Roar for live scores and coverage from 8pm (AEST).
Despite winning the first two games of the series, the Blues will want to lift the Origin Shield after a win rather than coming off a loss.
Doing just that is going to be a lot easier said than done though, with the Maroons historically hard to beat at Lang Park and this being Billy Slater’s final Origin game.
The champion fullback is the final member left of the big four and his state will want to send him out a winner.
Still, they have lost all the key moments during the first two games, even with Slater back on the park in Sydney. He made a huge difference, but it was not enough.
The Maroons are going to be without Greg Inglis for the match though, with Corey Oates brought onto the wing and Dane Gagai shifted to the centres. Ben Hunt has also been dropped to the bench after a horrendous performance during Game 2. Kalyn Ponga is out of the side, with the much-maligned Daly Cherry-Evans back in.
DCE has a huge job to do, but given his club form at the struggling Sea Eagles, it is a bit of a left-field selection.
The Blues come in reasonably settled, although Matt Prior has been left out for Tariq Sims, who comes onto the bench while Paul Vaughan moves into the starting side.
New South Wales have done the little things right throughout the first two games of the series. They have completed at close to 90 per cent in both contests and in doing so, had more time playing the game at the right end of the park.
James Tedesco has been their key man, sparking the team in attack, while James Maloney has controlled the back-end of games fantastically to keep the Blues on the front foot. With their forwards having a small edge, it’s been enough to win Game 1 in Melbourne by ten points and Game 2 in Sydney by four.
New South Wales have been the team to beat during the first two games of the series, and if they play at their best, they should be hard to stop again in the rubber.
New South Wales by 10.
Be sure to join The Roar for live coverage of Game 3 in the 2018 Origin series from 8pm (AEST) and don’t forget to add a comment in the section below.