Queensland Maroons

Queensland clinch another State of Origin series

Val Holmes and Murray Taulagi tries built a healthy 10-0 half-time advantage for Queensland despite them ceding plenty of possession.

Holmes' second came after the break and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow asserted the Maroons' dominance with a fourth try.

Damien Cook scored for the Blues before Xavier Coates and Jeremiah Nanai tries ensured a blow-out scoreline.

The game spilled over into chaos at the end as Josh Addo-Carr was sin-binned for a punch with 20 seconds remaining, while Jarome Luai and Reece Walsh were sent off for exchanging headbutts.

Maroons draw first blood

Trailing 18-16 with seven minutes to go and down to 12 players with Thomas Flegler in the sin-bin, the Maroons were seemingly out on their feet in front of 48,613 enthralled spectators.

But they refused to give up, and late tries to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Cameron Munster saw them claw their way over the line to take a 1-0 series lead.

The Maroons, who led 10-6 at half-time, were forced to play much of the match without back rower Tom Gilbert, who left the field with a dislocated right shoulder in the 19th minute.

Five-year Sydney drought 'irrelevant' to new breed: Slater

Slater would go on to play three more Origins and retire as one of the Maroons’ all-time greats, likewise Thurston, whose rep career ended that night with 37 Origins to his name.

The great ‘JT’ had hoped to get an Origin swan song in Game Three and then be part of Australia’s World Cup campaign at the end of 2017, but shoulder surgery put paid to those plans.

Holmes, meanwhile, suits up for Queensland for the 11th time on Wednesday night, while Josh Papalii and Dane Gagai were also there five years ago and get their shot at breaking the Sydney hoodoo in Game One.

Queensland Maroons come out on top against NSW Blues in State of Origin face-saver

Absent for the first two matches due to injury, the Newcastle superstar showed the Maroons just what they'd been missing with a leading hand in Wednesday's 20-18 win over NSW on the Gold Coast in Australia.

Ponga led the Maroons with 182 running metres, recorded three tackle busts and one line break.

More importantly, he was at the heart of Queensland's best attacking moments at CBUS Super Stadium.

A kick return early in the first half set the platform from which the Maroons would score their first try of the night through debutant Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow.

Slater receives four-star endorsement for Maroons job

The elite quartet - Wayne Bennett, Mal Meninga, Craig Bellamy and Cameron Smith - have all offered their unqualified support for the retired Melbourne Storm fullback to take charge of the Maroons this year.

Bennett, who steered an underdog Queensland team to win last year’s title, was expected to retain the position. However, the QRL prefers a full-time coach, leading Bennett to announce last week he would concentrate on coaching the Rabbitohs in his final season at Redfern.

Queensland Maroons hold on to win thrilling Origin decider

First-half tries to Valentine Holmes and Edrick Lee gave the Maroons the half-time lead.

New South Wales' chances were dealt a severe blow when captain James Tedesco was forced from the field mid-way through the first half with a head knock.

The Maroons dominated the second half with a penalty and a try to debutant Harry Grant.

The Blues were let down by some poor discipline, conceding six penalties and three ruck infringements.

This is the Maroons first title since 2017 and also coach Wayne Bennett's first since 2001.

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Kurt Capewell will to start in the back row, with Edrick Lee and Valentine Holmes on the wings, Corey Allan at fullback and Dane Gagai and Brenko Lee in the centres.

“Cameron (Munster) passed everything and we’re very satisifed with where he’s at,” Bennett said.

“We won’t know until this morning to see if he (Xavier Coates) can train. He’s 50/50 at the moment.

“Edrick Lee will come in.”

“We’ll get (Brenko Lee) through training today, we’re confident we’ll do that. He was good on Sunday, so pretty confident he’ll play.”

State of Origin: Queensland beat New South Wales 18-14 in opening game

The Blues, who have won the last two series, started brightly and opened up a 10-0 lead at the interval after tries from Damien Cook and Josh Addo-Carr.

Queensland hit back after the break as Alex Brimson, Xavier Coates and Cameron Munster crossed the whitewash.

Addo-Carr added a late second try, but the Maroons held on in Adelaide.

NSW won back-to-back series for the first time since 2005 last year, but they lost momentum after the break as Queensland came out inspired by their half time team-talk from former England coach Wayne Bennett.

Coates set to make his debut for Queensland Maroons

Results confirmed the good news for Coates and the Maroons released a statement to say he had "shown significant improvement" and their medical staff anticipate he will be fit to play on Wednesday.

The young Bronco suffered shoulder damage at training on Sunday.

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans earlier said he was confident Coates would be able to take his place and wanted to give him as much time as possible to prove his fitness.

Coates was one of eight rookies named to make his debut in the Ampol State of Origin series opener on Wednesday night in Adelaide.

Ponga's surgery call delayed as Maroons brace for withdrawal

A final call on Ponga's availability for the Maroons will be delayed until after the gun No.1 has a labral tear in his left shoulder assessed by a specialist, with Newcastle players undergoing end-of-season medicals on Tuesday.

Queensland are yet to name the initial members of their 27-man Origin squad and they will likely make that announcement later this week.

Titans livewire AJ Brimson looms as the most likely fullback replacement option if Ponga is unavailable, while Cameron Munster and Moses Mbye have also had plenty of experience at the back in previous NRL seasons.