Queensland Wins Eighth Straight State of Origin Rugby Series

Queensland beat New South Wales 12-10 last night to win a record-extending eighth straight State of Origin rugby league series.

Johnathan Thurston and Justin Hodges scored tries and Thurston kicked four points for Queensland at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium. The visitors secured a 2-1 victory in Australia’s annual interstate contest after rebounding from a 14-6 loss in Game 1 six weeks ago.

The Maroons held on for the win after having a try disallowed with just over two minutes left, when Blues defenders were obstructed by security guards who ran onto the field to tackle a streaker.

“The boys did a great job to hold on there,” Queensland captain Cameron Smith, who was named player of the series, said in a televised interview with Channel Nine. “It just keeps rolling on. We’re just very fortunate to be involved with some wonderful players at this period in time. I can’t wipe the smile off my face.”

New South Wales got tries from James McManus and Trent Merrin, James Maloney converting the second.

“When you work so hard for something and you fall short, it’s heart-breaking,” captain Robbie Farah said. “We weren’t clinical enough.”

Queensland, which started its unprecedented sequence of series victories in 2006, ended its three-match losing run at ANZ Stadium in front of a crowd of 83,813, the biggest Game 3 attendance in Origin history. They included members of the visiting Manchester United soccer squad, who face the A-League All Stars in an exhibition game at the same stadium on July 20.

Organizers said the Origin series recorded the biggest attendance in the event’s history with a total of 215,883 fans at the three games, surpassing the previous mark of 203,309 set in 2004.

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