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Queensland's Origin reign continues
WWOS staff
22:00 AEST Wed Jul 6 2011
Queensland has won an unprecedented sixth-successive State of Origin series, defeating NSW 34-24 to send legendary captain Darren Lockyer out a winner at Suncorp Stadium.

The Maroons raced to a 24-0 lead over the Blues after 35 minutes and went on to win the series-deciding match after largely dominating in both attack and defence.

Queensland's win was soured somewhat with star five-eighth Johnathan Thurston being stretchered from the field after suffering what looked to be a season-ending knee injury in the 59th minute.

Maroons hooker Cameron Smith was placed on report for putting his knees into Jarryd Hayne after the Blues centre scored a try late in the second half. Smith was later named man of the match and player of the series.

Lockyer played his usual understated part in the victory, controlling play with a precision kicking game and making all the right decisions in attack.

"It's fantastic. I've never been so nervous," Lockyer said after the match.

"It's such a great feeling, it's a relief. These guys have been fantastic.

"It has been a great journey, and to the Queenslanders out there I hope you enjoyed it."

NSW captain Paul Gallen cited his side's poor start as the main reason for the loss.

"It's pretty shattering," Gallen said.

"We came here confident, and we thought we had a good chance.

"We did too much defence early on, and they just got too far in front."

Queensland led 24-10 at halftime after dominating the early exchanges.

Maroons centre Greg Inglis opened the scoring in the 16th minute, sprinting through to collect a Thurston grubber kick before planting the ball in the corner.

Thurston converted the try with a pinpoint kick from the sideline to make it 6-0.

In pics: WAG of the Week - Origin special

The Maroons forced the Blues to make five line drop-outs in the first 24 minutes as the home side laid siege to the visitor's line and that pressure soon turned into points.

Sam Thaiday scored in the 25th minute when he ran on to a brilliant Billy Slater short pass and strode through to cross the tryline untouched. Thurston added the extras to make the score 12-0.

Queensland hooker Smith then burrowed over from dummy-half in the 31st minute as the Maroons turned their dominance on the field into a big lead on the scoreboard.

Just two minutes later NSW fullback Anthony Minichiello made a mess of a deep Lockyer kick, with Maroons winger Jharal Yow Yeh on the spot to scoop the ball up and score. Thurston again converted to make the score an amazing 24-0 in the 35th minute.

The Blues hit back with their first try after a mess of dropped balls, with interchange player Luke Lewis eventually flicking the ball to Minichiello who scored. Jamie Soward converted the try to make it 24-6.

With one minute remaining in the half the Blues opened the game up, with Mark Gasnier putting Akuila Uate over for a try. Soward sent his conversion attempt wide, leaving the score 24-10 at the break.

Slater scored in the 65th minute, taking an inside pass from Thaiday and breaking a Lewis tackle to make it 30-10 after the Smith conversion.

Minutes later Inglis barged through four NSW defenders to score his second try of the night. Smith missed his conversion to make the score 34-10.

The Blues hit back with two late consolation tries – one of them an eight-point try when Smith came in late on Hayne.

NSW omitted Michael Jennings and Beau Scott, with Hayne playing in the centres and Brett Morris coming into the starting side on the wing.

Wests Tigers prop Keith Galloway made his State of Origin debut on the Blues' bench, while Manly back-row forward Glenn Stewart came in for Scott.


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