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State of Origin: Queensland avoid whitewash by beating New South Wales in final match
Queensland claimed a pride-restoring 32-8 win over New South Wales in the third and final State of Origin match on Wednesday to avoid conceding its first series whitewash since 2000.
Despite New South Wales clinching the series after the second match last month, Queensland dominated from the kickoff in front of a home crowd of 50,155 at Lang Park.
Trent Hodkinson opened the scoring for New South Wales in the 24th minute before Maroons captain Cameron Smith gathered a Daly Cherry-Evans kick in the 37th minute to give Queensland a 6-2 hat-time.
Billy Slater crossed for a try four minutes after the break, with Johnathan Thurston who kicked six goals from six attempts then adding a penalty.
The Blues drew closer with a Josh Dugan try in the 61st minute, before Queensland opening the floodgates thanks to three tries in six minutes by Darius Boyd, Aidan Guerra and Cooper Cronk.
Australia international Cronk, who plays for Melbourne Storm, broke his arm in game one of the series while Maroons backrower Corey Parker was named man of the match.
"It is bittersweet, but it is nice to play some footy in front of our fans," Queensland coach Mal Meninga said. "It showed they still have a lot of pride in the jersey."