NSW’s State of Origin victory has led to dominance in a Kangaroos merit team picked by Australian selectors from performances in the interstate series.
State of Origin 3 is still tied up at half-time, with New South Wales and Queensland all square at eight points apiece.
The Blues opened the scoring inside the first ten minutes through a James Maloney penalty goal after the Maroons were ruled to have slowed down the ruck next to the posts.
It was one of a handful of penalties blown in the opening exchanges for the home side, but it was Queensland who got the first try after starting brighter. Daly Cherry-Evans slid to the left before passing to Corey Norman, and the Origin debutant dribbled in a perfectly weighted kick for Felise Kaufusi to run onto and score from.
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Their lead was extended with half an hour on the clock, Cherry-Evans pointing to the posts following the tenth penalty of the match and Ethan Lowe made no mistake with the shot at goal.
It was a deserved buffer for the Maroons, who were a much improved side in both attack and defence compared to their Game 2 showing. Cameron Munster got his hands on the ball frequently in dangerous areas, and the Blues weren’t able to find the easy metres which were so forthcoming in Perth.
However, James Tedesco was able to get his side on the front foot with a trademark burst up the left flank, and the Blues were able to square the ledger when Paul Vaughan muscled his way over on the back of that break.
And while both sides threatened to add to their tallies – and Cherry-Evans even tried a field goal attempt – the scores remained 8-8 at the break.\