Queensland has clinched an unprecedented eighth straight State of Origin series in a dramatic 12-10 victory over New South Wales in the decider at Sydney’s Olympic stadium.
Look back at Grandstand’s rolling coverage for updates, statistics, photos, video and interviews from Homebush.
(All updates in AEST)
11:00pm: Well that just about wraps it up. I think I need a stiff drink and a lie down after that.
10:38pm: Lastly, let’s hear what winning coach Mal Meninga had to say.
“We had to work hard tonight for that, we hung in there really well and handled everything that came our way. Very pleased.
“We weren’t going to make any excuses tonight, regardless of how the game flowed, we just had to hang in there and come up with the right efforts and the right decisions when it mattered.
“We started really well which is fantastic. They came back at us really hard, we had to put a really great defensive effort into the back end of that first half, the boys were fairly exhausted.
“We regathered our composure and I thought the second half we did really well.
“We said at half-time, this is Origin. It’s what builds character and what makes men, and the decisions we made through that second half were outstanding
10:11pm: A very ginger Cam Smith has received the Wally Lewis Medal for the player of the series, and rightfully so. What a captain.
And he’s raised the State of Origin shield to a fast-emptying Olympic stadium! There are still pockets of diehard Queensland supporters in the stands, and good on them. Their night can’t get much better.
10:07pm: So is Blues coach Laurie Daley.
“We had our opportunities but we weren’t good enough and clinical enough. That’s what Origin is about. Anyway, another year.
“You learn a lot about yourself and learn a lot about your team but I can’t fault their efforts, it’s been tremendous.
“We’ve been hurting for eight years. It’s going to be a long 12 months, it’s going to be a hard 12 months, but we’ve got to come back.”
10:05pm: James Maloney is gutted. Absolutely devastated.
“It hurts … I suppose effort’s not enough – at the end of the day you’ve got to execute and … I suppose they’re probably better at that.
“It’s all well and good for the effort but at the vital times we probably didn’t execute.
“It’s been great to be a part of [Origin] but would’ve liked it the other way.”
10:04pm: What’s man of the match Brent Tate got to say?
“That was awesome, that was an Origin match from the old days.
“Both teams going at it, I knew if we could hold them out and stay in front I knew we had the mateship to get it done.
“That was one of the toughest I’ve played and I’m so proud of our boys.
“I’m going to sit back one day when it’s all said and done … who knows if it’ll ever be done again, eight in a row.
“There’s going to come a day when we’re not going to win but the pressure builds every year … it’ll be a beautiful place to wake up in Queensland tomorrow, I can tell ya.”
10:03pm: Victorious half-back Cooper Cronk has just been grabbed by Craig Hamilton down there.
“That was a tough last 10 minutes, the Queensland spirit turns to defence. We didn’t play that great but we turned up for each other.
“We didn’t get too many opportunities, both sides defended their goal-lines outstanding which the scorelines showed.
“It was game on from the word go, there was composure. We just spoke about when you’re tired, be mentally tough, just turn up for your team-mate.”
That’s what it’s all about.
QUEENSLAND HAS WON EIGHT STRAIGHT ORIGIN SERIES!
10:00pm: Cooper Cronk feeds the scrum and the Maroons have the ball for 10 more seconds but that’s victory. Thank you linesmen, thank you ballboys!
9:58pm: A minute left on the clock…and THURSTON’S GRUBBER IS PLUCKED OUT OF THE AIR! A Blues chip to the sideline is carried into touch and that’s just about it!
9:55pm: TRY TO QUEENSLAND? BUT THERE’S A PITCH INVADER. MY GOD.
You have to be kidding. That’s absolutely farcical. Some absolute muppet has run into the middle of play and no one had any idea what was going on.
The Blues are furious. Corey Parker has thrown the pass to Matt Scott but he was being protected by a scrum of cops trying to down the streaker. Rightfully it’s been waved off and the Maroons will feed the scrum right in front.
9:54pm: MASSIVE RUN BY BOYD! He makes a quick 40m for Queensland after Slater cleans up a Blues 40/20 attempt. Maroons in the Blues’ half…
9:52pm: Penalty to Queensland as Billy Slater is taken out in the air under immense pressure. Wok rightly says that while it was a stupid penalty for the Blues to throw away, it was more adrenaline than ill discipline.
Queensland’s set goes all the way to a Smith bomb on the fifth but Dugan cleans it up under the black dot and stays in the field of play. Good footy.
9:51pm: The 83,813-strong Olympic stadium is absolutely booming with chants of “New South Wales” as the home side fights for everything. The enthusiasm in everything the Blues are doing is palpable.
9:47pm: TRY TO NEW SOUTH WALES! It’s game on here as Trent Merrin dives over between the posts after a shocking missed tackle from the normally reliable Corey Parker.
The Blues ain’t dead folks, and nor is this game. Maloney slots the extras and it’s 12-10 with just over 10 minutes to play.
9:45pm: Unlucky 13 minutes left on the clock now and the Blues trail by eight points. Craig Hamilton just made the point that Queensland has five or six guys who can make a game-changing play…but how many does New South Wales have out there?
9:42pm: Big run from Billy Slater up the middle but his opposite number Josh Dugan hurled himself into a tackle and stopped the Maroons’ charge.
9:38pm: TRY TO QUEENSLAND! Justin Hodges, you little beauty. He threatened twice the last time the Maroons were up here but was wrapped up both times.
This time he’s run outside his defender and into the gap at a cracking pace, just like he’s done so many times before, and the visitors now have an eight-point buffer.
The angle was no good for Thurston, who’s missed adding the extras, but that penalty he knocked over earlier tonight could turn out to be the difference-maker.
9:37pm: Hang on … Queensland can have penalties too? That’s interesting. Anyway the Maroons MUST cross here, because the Blues are looking way too hungry and they’ve definitely got more points in them, especially Ryan Hoffman.
9:35pm: For the Maroons Daly Cherry-Evans has clocked in; the visitors have plenty of playmakers out there with Cronk, Smith and Thurston all on the park as well.
9:34pm: The Blues have done well to soak up that pressure though; gutsy bit of play because Queensland looked for all measure like scoring through Hodges out wide a couple of times. That was a captivating set of six.
9:32pm: One finally goes Queensland’s way! McManus has got a crooked bounce off a Cooper Cronk kick on the fifth and tapped it as it changed direction; that’s a silly knock-on.
So the visitors have the scrum-feed on the 10m line.
9:31pm: The Blues have gone into space with Ryan Hoffman bolting into a hole and finding Jennings, but the Maroons defence does enough to reel him in.
9:26pm: ANOTHER penalty to the Blues, against Matt Gillett this time. The Blues are on the attack here and they’re only metres away. And another one right in front after a strip in the tackle. The Blues opt to run for it rather than the two freebies.
If Shayne Hayne wants an opinion from someone watching on, here’s one from Bunnies forward Sam Burgess.