State of Origin: New South Wales 26, Queensland 20
SYDNEY (AP) — Fullback James Tedesco’s second try of the match with 30 seconds remaining gave New South Wales a 26-20 win over Queensland in the third and deciding State of Origin rugby league match on Wednesday.
After the teams were level 8-8 at halftime at the Olympic stadium, Tedesco’s first try helped give New South Wales a 20-12 lead before Queensland scored two late tries to level the match. Queensland forward Josh Papalii crossed in the 77th minute and rookie Ethan Lowe kicked a pressure conversion to make the score 20-20.
On Tedesco’s winning try, the ball was spread wide to Blake Ferguson, who somehow stayed in bounds while tiptoeing down the sideline before throwing a pass to Tedesco to score in the corner. Tedesco was named man of the match and the series.
“It’s probably not the way we wanted to finish our second half, but what a finish,” said Blues captain Boyd Cordner. “At home in front of our home fans, doesn’t get much better.
“We knew they were going to finish strong. There was a couple of defensive lapses that cost us, but our effort throughout the whole night, especially that second half, is what got us to that lead.”
Fullback Cameron Munster was one of the stars for Queensland.
“To be honest, I thought we had them,” Munster said. “It shows you what Origin is like. If you are a little slow or lazy there one second that can really make you hurt and they did that tonight.”
Queensland won the first match 18-14 in Brisbane and New South Wales leveled the series 38-6 in Perth.
The Maroons had won the last seven series deciders. New South Wales has now won the last two series but still has only beaten Queensland, which lost many of its veteran players this year, in three series since 2006.