Cooper Cronk’s late field goal gave Queensland a 21-20 win over New South Wales and a record- extending seventh straight State of Origin rugby league series victory.
Cronk connected from 40 meters (44 yards) in the 75th minute last night at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium. The kick followed a converted try from New South Wales’s Josh Morris five minutes earlier that tied the score 20-20.
“I can’t put it into words,” Cronk said in a televised interview. “This is why you play football.”
The Maroons have won 15 of the 21 matches since starting their unprecedented run of success in 2006 and hold a 17-12 lead in Australia’s annual interstate series. New South Wales forced the deciding game with a 16-12 victory in Sydney last month after Queensland’s 18-10 win in the Melbourne opener.
“I’m just so happy for Queensland,” Maroons prop Petero Civoniceva, who’ll retire at season’s end after 33 Origin games, said in a televised interview. “There’s a lot of spirit in this team and it was on show tonight.”
Johnathan Thurston scored a try and kicked eight points for Queensland, which was without injured Australia full-back Billy Slater for the final game. Darius Boyd and Justin Hodges also touched down for the Maroons.
Brett Morris and Brett Stewart also touched down for the Blues and Todd Carney booted eight points.
“It’s very disappointing to get so close,” Carney said in a televised interview. “We worked so hard as a group and it’s just so shattering.”
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