Dominant Maroons regain title
A rampaging and unrelenting Maroons side have reclaimed the Holden State of Origin shield with a record-breaking 52-6 victory over New South Wales in front of a sell-out Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
The 46-point margin broke previous highest winning margin in Origin history of 40 points, set by the Blues 15 years ago.
It was also only the second time in Origin history that a team has scored more than 50 points after NSW defeated Queensland 56-16 in the aforementioned match in Game Three, 2000.
The Maroons scored six tries before the Blues could reply through Michael Jennings midway through the second half, but it mattered for little as Queensland cruised towards victory in front of a crowd of over 52,000.
The Blues couldn't handle Queensland's rampant momentum and were unable take control of proceedings with only 30 per cent of possession for the match.
Greg Inglis was heavily involved from the outset, running for 139 metres and scoring a try as he rotated between fullback and winger with Darius Boyd.
Will Chambers ran for 175 metres and also scored a try, while Corey Parker (147 metres and 23 tackles) and Jacob Lillyman (137 metres) led the way for Queensland's forwards.
Parker received the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series, just prior to the moment when Cameron Smith lifted the Origin shield for the fourth time as Queensland captain.
Down by 20 points at half-time, the night went from bad to worse for the Blues as Matt Gillett scored his second Origin try in as many games after pouncing on the Steeden after it was batted back into play by retiring centre Justin Hodges from over his own dead-ball line.
The 42nd-minute try was reminiscent of the Inglis bat-back during the 2008 Centenary Test with the moment of Maroons brilliance bringing the record Suncorp Stadium crowd to their feet.
Eight minutes later Michael Morgan scored his first Origin try from only his third touch of the game to extend Queensland's lead to 34-2.
The Maroons weren’t finished scoring as Morgan sent Boyd over in the corner for Queensland's sixth try of the night and Johnathan Thurston converted his eighth goal from as many attempts to break Mal Meninga's Queensland record of seven goals in an Origin match.
A runaway try to Jennings in the 61st minute ensured the Blues wouldn't head home without a four-pointer, although it was little consolation as Chambers found the line seven minutes later to take the score out to 46-6.
Further Queensland celebrations ensued when Aidan Guerra crashed over the line two minutes from full-time and Hodges lined up the conversion attempt, guiding his effort between the uprights to finish the game off at 52-6.
There was niggling between both sides from the outset, not surprisingly instigated by Michael Ennis, who lined up for his first Origin since the 2011 decider after replacing the injured Robbie Farah prior to kick-off.
The Blues targeted Origin debutant Dane Gagai from their first attacking kick and it paid dividends with the Maroons winger spilling the ball allowing NSW a chance to open the scoring.
NSW were unable to crack Queensland's line and had to settle for a penalty goal and a 2-0 lead after five minutes.
Queensland squared the ledger four minutes later when Thurston slotted an easy two points after receiving back-to-back penalties.
A Will Hopoate error allowed the Maroons a prime opportunity to press for the opening try and they duly obliged when Gagai crossed unmarked out wide.
Thurston's sublime sideline conversion took the Queenslanders out to an 8-2 lead in the 15th minute.
The Blues rallied and dominated the next 10-minute period but couldn't convert their possession into points and soon found themselves defending their own line again when prop Aaron Woods conceded a marker penalty.
Queensland capitalised moments later when Thurston sent Josh Papalii over the line for his maiden Origin try and a 14-2 lead 13 minutes out from half-time.
The Maroons extended their lead to 14 points when Beau Scott took out Smith with a late tackle and the host's advantage soon became 20 points when Inglis crossed for his 17th Origin try.
An ugly lifting tackle by Trent Merrin on Corey Parker allowed Queensland to go on the attack once again and the destructive Maroons fullback steamrolled his way over the paint much to the delight of the Suncorp Stadium crowd.
The Maroons had one final opportunity to crack the Blues' line again inside the final minute of the first half but NSW held on to keep scoreboard reading 22-2 at half-time.
Queensland 52 (Dane Gagai, Josh Papalii, Greg Inglis, Matt Gillett, Michael Morgan, Darius Boyd, Will Chambers, Aidan Guerra tries; Johnathan Thurston 9, Justin Hodges goals)defeated New South Wales 6 (Michael Jennings try; Trent Hodkinson goal) at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Crowd: 52,500. Half-time: Queensland 22-2. Referees: Gerard Sutton & Ben Cummins. On report: Trent Merrin & James Tamou (NSW). Player of the series: Corey Parker (Queensland).
The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Melbourne Storm Rugby League Club.