HIGHLIGHTS FROM STATE OF ORIGIN III BETWEEN QUEENSLAND AND NSW AT SUNCORP STADIUM ON WEDNESDAY NIGHT
1st minute: A bad start to Justin Hodges’s last Origin match. He coughs up possession with his first touch, dropping the ball after a hit from NSW’s late call-up, hooker Michael Ennis. Players come in for a brief scuffle but it is an early win for the Blues.
3rd: Dane Gagai’s first action as a State of Origin player involves diffusing a pin-point bomb to NSW’s left corner. Brett Morris is under it but Gagai leaps and plucks it out of the air. Unfortunately for Queensland he knocks it on in the process.
5th: The Blues take the lead through Trent Hodkinson who opts to take a shot at goal following a penalty just in front of the posts. The Newcastle-bound playmaker makes no mistake and registers the first points of the night. QLD 0 NSW 2
9th: The hosts respond in kind and level the scores. Aaron Woods is penalised for holding on too long at the play the ball and Johnathan Thurston kicks truly from around the same sort of range as Hodkinson did minutes prior. QLD 2 NSW 2
14th: The crowd erupts with a ‘Queenslander’ chant after Blues winger Will Hopoate makes an error on the first tackle, giving the Maroons the chance to attack inside NSW’s defensive 20m zone.
15th: Queensland takes the lead through Gagai, who continues his hot start to the game with the opening try. Gagai takes a long pass after a Nate Myles offload close to the posts and touches down in the right corner. The video referee wants to have a look first, but it’s all good. Thurston converts. QLD 8 NSW 2
19th: Further proof that Greg Inglis is a freak of nature – a literal Superman attempt to keep the ball in play, as an airborne Inglis contorts himself to flick a runaway grubber kick back into the ingoal area. It goes straight to a NSW player, but everyone’s still impressed.
26th: A good, sustained period of NSW pressure comes to an end with another Woods penalty. At the same time, the Blues ring the changes – Paul Gallen comes off and is replaced by David Klemmer, who is promptly booed by the sellout Suncorp Stadium crowd, while Ryan Hoffman comes off with a calf injury for Boyd Cordner.
27th: Queensland are in again, this time on the left side through Josh Papalii. Thurston crafts the initial break that presents the opportunity and then adds the extras to extend their lead, which is now starting to look comfortable. QLD 14 NSW 2
32nd: A penalty to Queensland, and the crowd goads officials to send off Beau Scott after he takes down Cameron Smith in backplay. Scott lifted and then dumped Smith with a late tackle after the Maroons skipper’s kick. Thurston splits the posts. QLD 16 NSW 2
34th: Trent Merrin is put on report for upending Corey Parker in a tackle, another moment that sparks a brief session of handbags at 10 paces in the middle.
35th: Another Maroons converted try and things are starting to get ugly. This time it’s Inglis, who streaks through almost untouched on the back of a pass from Thurston, and whips out his trademark ‘goanna’ pose in celebration. QLD 22 NSW 2