A last minute try to James Tedesco has given New South Wales the 2019 State of Origin series, capping off a thrilling contest in Sydney.
The 26-20 scoreline meant the game that had been billed ‘the most important Origin ever’ lived up to the hype in front of a capacity 82,565-strong ANZ Stadium crowd, and meant the Blues have won back-to-back series for the first time since 2005.
New South Wales seemed to be cruising to a comfortable win deep into the second half with the score 20-8, but with eight minutes left Josh McGuire powered his way through some tired defence to bring Queensland within a try.
Only three minutes later a charge-down by Ethan Lowe sparked another Queensland attack. Three tackles later half Daly Cherry-Evans sent Josh Papalii through a huge gap to score in the same spot, with Lowe converting to lock the scores up at 20-all.
With the game seemingly destined for golden point, the Blues ran it wide early in the tackle count, with recalled Mitchell Pearce throwing a perfect cut out ball to give Tom Trbojevic some space down the right wing. He linked up with Blake Ferguson, who did wonderfully well to stay in the field of play through a tackle attempt and link up with Tedesco to score the dramatic winner.
Earlier, a tight first half ended 8-8 after tries to Felise Kaufusi and Paul Vaughan, and a couple of goals each by James Maloney and Lowe for either side.
Tedesco then scored again in the 50th minute, before Damian Cook seemingly made the result safe in the 59th with a brilliant solo try. But Queensland had other ideas and came roaring back to almost pull off an unlikely comeback.
It will go down as one of the great Origin finishes, and was a fitting finish to a pulsating series. Queensland took the first game 18-14 in Brisbane, before being hammered 38-6 at the new Perth Stadium. Tedesco was named player of the series.
NSW 26 (J Tedesco 2, P Vaughan, D Cook tries; J Maloney 5 goals)
QLD 20 (F Kaufusi, J McGuire, J Papalii tries; E Lowe 4 goals)