What you need to know from Origin III

NSW fullback and man of the series James Tedesco scored a last-minute try to secure a 26-20 victory and back-to-back shields for the first time since 2005.

BLAKE FERGUSON
BLAKE FERGUSON Picture: Ashley Feder/Getty Images

STATE OF ORIGIN III AT A GLANCE

* RESULT: NSW 26 (James Tedesco 2, Paul Vaughan, Damien Cook tries; James Maloney 4 cons, 1 pen goal ) bt Queensland 20 (Felise Kaufusi, Josh McGuire, Josh Papalii tries; Ethan Lowe 3 cons 1 pen goal).

* KEY MOMENT: NSW looked home and hosed up 20-8 with 10 minutes to play before Queensland came storming back into the contest and drew level. The Maroons had all the momentum but redemption man Mitchell Pearce chanced his arm on the final play and put Tom Trbojevic in space, who then found Blake Ferguson and James Tedesco was backing up inside to score the winner with 32 seconds left in the match.

* MAN OF THE MATCH: James Tedesco. The Blues fullback was phenomenal all series and delivered another scintillating display in the decider. Tedesco sparked NSW into attack in the first half and scored a double in the second, including the last-minute winner. Nobody ran for more than his 222 metres.

* QUOTE: Former Blues coach and commentator Phil Gould: "There are 83,000 people here at the ground, four million people at home, this is the biggest spectacle, this is what sells (rugby league) to the world, and they don't come to see how the referees referee, they come to see the players play."

* TALKING POINTS: NSW halfback Mitchell Pearce finally lifted his first Origin shield after eight attempts. Pearce made his debut as a teenager in 2008 and then unfairly shouldered most of the blame for seven series losses. Maroons star Cameron Munster shifted from five-eighth to fullback for the decider and was outstanding in the No.1 jersey. Munster was filling in for golden child Kalyn Ponga (calf) but the performance was so strong it will give Queensland coach Kevin Walters a headache as to who plays there next year.

* KEY STAT: Referees Ashley Klein and Gerard Sutton blew a staggering 12 penalties in the first half which stifled the flow of the game. It was the most penalties in an Origin first half in 23 years. Somebody must have had a word with the whistleblowers at half-time because there were only two penalties given after the break and it finally allowed the game to flourish.

* INJURIES: Queensland - Michael Morgan (concussion).


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