Maroons Beat Blues 22-6 to Win 2017 State of Origin Series

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 12, 2017

BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12:  Valentine Holmes of the Maroons celebrates scoring a try during game three of the State Of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on July 12, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia.  (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images)
Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images

Queensland Maroons produced a spectacular performance to beat New South Wales Blues 22-6 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Australia, in Game 3 of the 2017 State of Origin on Wednesday and seal a 2-1 comeback series win.  

Valentine Holmes scored a hat-trick of tries for Queensland in front of a raucous crowd, while Jarrod Wallace claimed the Maroons' fourth to earn an 11th series win in 12 years.

Josh Dugan went over for the Blues just after half-time to give them a glimpse of a comeback after a first-half hammering, but Queensland quickly reestablished their dominance and eventually won with ease.

NSW Blues provided both lineups ahead of kick-off:

The opening exchanges were even, with both the Blues and Maroons showing excellent defence.

But it was New South Wales who were making more mistakes and Queensland slowly began to take control of proceedings before 21-year-old Holmes opened the scoring in the 15th minute.

He finished off a slick team move started by Billy Slater in impressive fashion, holding off three NSW defenders to score in the corner, and Cameron Smith duly slotted the conversion.

Three minutes later Cooper Cronk looked to have scored Queensland's second try after an excellent break, but the score was ruled out after he was rightly adjudged to have dropped the ball before the line under pressure from Brett Morris.

Cronk more than made up for his mistake in the 26th minute, though, when he set up Holmes for another score in the left corner with an inspired flat cross-field kick, per NRL:

The Blues could not live with the intensity of the Maroons, and three minutes from the break NSW were spared further punishment when another Holmes try was ruled out for a forward pass.

The 12-0 scoreline at the break flattered the Blues, who had been outplayed for most of the opening period.

However, they looked in much better shape at the start of the second half as Dugan plucked Mitchell Pearce's kick out of the air in the 48th minute and ran in a try under the posts to put NSW back in contention.

A slight momentum shift toward the Blues was apparent, but they could not take further advantage, and Holmes ran in his third try of the night on the hour to all but seal the match and the series.

Cameron Munster deserved huge credit for setting up the score as he produced a dazzling run to open up space before offloading to Holmes, who claimed the pass brilliantly before going over.

Seven minutes later it was then Wallace's turn to get on the scoreboard, running in under the posts from three metres out after an inside pass from Munster. 

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