Queensland are State of Origin champions again after overwhelming NSW in Wednesday’s series decider 52-6 at Suncorp Stadium.
The Maroons dominated the first half, scoring three tries to nil on the back of 65 per cent of possession to lead 22-2 at the break. If the game wasn’t over then, it was when David Klemmer spilt the ball close to the NSW line shortly after halftime and a dramatic flick back from Justin Hodges created a try for Matt Gillett to put the score out to 28-2.
Queensland’s aggression in defence hurt the Blues early, but NSW were their own worst enemies also, giving away cheap penalties and dropping the ball far too often before a new ground record of 52,500.
It is the most points Queensland have scored in an Origin match and it is their biggest winning margin.
A calf injury to Ryan Hoffman early didn’t help the visitors’ cause. He has been one of NSW’s best throughout the series but it is doubtful whether he could have made much difference.
Corey Parker led the way for the Maroons early with Johnathan Thurston taking advantage.
After the sides swapped early penalty goals, Dane Gagai crossed on debut in the 15th minute, Josh Papalii added to that in the 27th and Greg Inglis crashed over five minutes before the break as the Maroons enjoyed by far the better of field position and possession.
It was a position NSW were never going to recover from.
To make matters worse for the Blues, Trent Merrin and Trent Hodkinson were put on report for an ugly tackle on Parker in the 34th minute, while James Tamou copped likewise for a hit on Jacob Lillyman in the 54th minute.
By then, the game was well and truly over, with tries to Michael Morgan in the 50th minute and Darius Boyd in the 57th minute increasing the home side’s lead.
Michael Jennings scooped on a loose Maroons pass and sprinted 50m for NSW’s only try in the 60th minute.
But that only barely stopped the Maroons’ tide with Will Chambers and Aidan Guerra later chiming in for four-pointers.
The Blues had hoped this would be a night they would start to create their own dynasty but Queensland wrested back control of the interstate series. They have won nine of the past 10 series, after NSW won last year.
Queensland won game one in Sydney 11-10, with NSW winning 26-18 in game two at the MCG.
As expected, Michael Ennis was a late inclusion for Robbie Farah at hooker for NSW.