Blues create 14-year history in epic win

 

NSW has produced an unforgettable last-gasp stunner to steal Game 3 and the entire 2019 State of Origin series in the most dramatic of circumstances.

ANZ Stadium went ballistic after superstar fullback James Tedesco scored a matchwinning try after a rollercoaster solo run with just 32 seconds to play to stop the game going into extra-time.

Tedesco had to beat two defenders in a stunning bolt for the corner - and his run is now certain to be written into State of Origin folklore as the Blues emerged with a 26-20 win and a 2-1 series victory.

 

It ended one of the most incredible deciders in recent memory after Queensland had produced a monumental fightback to tie the game at 20-20 with two late tries of its own.

Just as the game looked certain to head into golden point, Tedesco stood up and produced a historic highlight.

The Roosters star was announced player of the series after full-time and was awarded the Wally Lewis Medal.

 

 

"It was a pretty good feeling to score that try," Tedesco said. "It was pretty special to win the series last year but, to win it again, is magic."

The incredible result ended the Blues' 14-year wait for back to back series wins.

It also snapped the Blues' seven-match losing streak in Origin deciders.

On a night of high drama, the result also handed Mitchell Pearce his first ever Origin series win after playing 19 matches.

Pearce finally got his perfect Origin moment after throwing the long-range cut-out ball that allowed Blake Ferguson to sprint down the touch line before passing back inside to Tedesco.

The back-to-back series wins also made Blues coach Brad Fittler the second most successful coach in NSW history - becoming just the second coach to win multiple shields.

It came after Queensland forward Josh Papalii crossed in the 77th minute and debutant Ethan Lowe nailed a pressure conversion to level the game.

NSW appeared headed for a comfortable finish when Tedesco and Damien Cook broke an 8-all deadlock with back-to-back tries in the space of nine minutes.

However the horrors of series past seemed to return after Queensland scored twice in the final eight minutes through Josh McGuire and Papalii.

 

When Lowe's conversion sailed through, Origin was seemingly set for a golden point contest in front of a sellout 82,565 crowd at ANZ Stadium.

But Tedesco, who finished the night with a game-high 222 metres and 10 tackle busts, turned hero with his game-winning four-pointer.

Tedesco produced a series of huge plays in both halves of football. It began with a 65m kick return in the 34th minute to set up the Blues' first try.

It came after the Maroons' strong start that debutant Corey Norman turned into points, forcing a line drop-out and then grubbering for Felise Kaufusi to score.

Tedesco's individual brilliance was the only thing that separated the two sides in the end - further pushing the case for his 2019 series to be remembered as one of the greatest individual series ever produced in State of Origin.

Being involved in one of the most dramatic finishes seen in the Origin arena recently was cold consolation to the Maroons on the full-time whistle.

 

Party time.
Party time.

Maroons coach Kevin Walters was proud of his team's fightback, but he rued a missed opportunity by skipper Daly Cherry-Evans to kick a field goal in the waning minutes, before opting to put up a bomb.

"He was set to do it, I could see body language," Walters said. "But then we got the slow play-the-ball for some reason. No penalty given, which I haven't watched too much. He just ran out of time.

"And when you do go for a field goal at that stage and you miss, you give seven tackles and you open yourself up for the opposition to get down your end.

"I'm not going to be critical of anyone tonight.

"I'm sitting here as a pretty proud Queenslander."

Maroons utility Michael Morgan failed to finish the game after a copping a stray elbow to the head from McGuire in the second half.

It was just the beginning of the headaches for the Maroons.


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