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State of Origin decider gave us two redemption stories for the price of one

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Leave aside, for the moment, Queensland coach Kevin Walters's proclamation that this would be the biggest Origin match since the dawn of time. What – bigger than last year, the year before, all those other years? All of the above, and bigger than next year too!

Or no, don't put it aside, because the big winner on Wednesday night, if it is allowable to say this, was rugby league. New South Wales won their second straight State of Origin contest in a finish worthy of the self-advertised greatest game of all.


Twelve minutes from full-time, the Blues were celebrating a 12-point lead after taking command of the second half. Then Queensland went all Queensland on them, storming home to level the scores with tries to the Joshes McGuire and Papalii, converted by Ethan Lowe, a journeyman second-rower called up to Origin for the first time and having the game of his life. "We thought we had them," said the Maroons' fullback Cameron Munster, speaking with the momentum of the game and the mystique of nearly 40 years behind him.

But in the final act, it was the Blues who did a Queensland on Queensland. Deep in his own territory, scores tied, in virtually the last play of the series, Mitchell Pearce shovelled the ball to Tom Trbojevic, who sent Blake Ferguson galloping down the right wing.

Two redemption........

© Brisbane Times