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Queensland Snatch Victory In Thrilling Origin III

The Queensland Maroons have given Billy Slater the perfect farewell with a valiant 18-12 victory in a scintillating Origin III encounter at Suncorp Stadium. 

NSW's resilience was tested countless times throughout the opening half - but their defiant defensive efforts were able to keep Queensland to just one try despite maintaining 64% possession and forcing five line drop-outs. 

Rapid-Fire tries from Tom Trbojevic and James Tedesco in the dying stages gave NSW a 12-8 lead - overcoming an early Valentine Holmes try and mountain of challenges  - including a James Maloney sin-bin.

Tries to Holmes and Cherry-Evans in the second-half inspired the Maroons to a 18-12 lead, with NSW's hopes of a try in the dying stages to no avail. 

Queensland looked to have drawn first blood when Billy Slater latched onto a pin-point Daly Cherry-Evans chip-kick, but the Bunker ruled the veteran fullback had knocked on into Nathan Cleary in the air.

Just when NSW threatened to hit-back on the back off a dynamic 60-metre run from Damien Cook, Valentine Holmes intercepted a Tedesco cut-out pass before racing 90 metres to cross for his third try of the series.

Holmes converted from out wide to take a 6-0 lead after 11 minutes.

Some brutal defence from Jake Trbojevic in the period following galvanised NSW to hold out consecutive Queensland sets, with the short kicking game of Daly Cherry-Evans also mounting significant pressure.

Despite the inspirational goal-line defence keeping the Maroons at bay for an extended period, James Maloney was sin-binned for a professional foul on Slater in his pursuit of a Cameron Munster grubber, with a Holmes penalty-goal giving them an eight-point buffer with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first-half.

Although having a one-man advantage, Tom Trbjoevic repeated the efforts of Holmes with a 90-metre intercept - giving NSW a vital try in the moments before the break.

A penalty off the ensuing set gave NSW a prime chance to snatch an unlikely lead, with Tedesco storming onto a brilliant Cook short-ball Cleary converted to set a 12-8 scoreline.

Holmes bagged his second try after he finished off a classy backline movement in the right-hand corner. but was unable to convert with the scores levelled after 50 minutes. 

Some Munster magic saw the Storm live-wire cut through the NSW defence with some nifty footwork, before offloading to Gavin Cooper who found a supporting Cherry-Evans as Queensland regained supremacy with 20 minutes remaining. 

Some last-gasp efforts from NSW saw some expansive football being played in the hopes of clinching a match-sealing try, but a desperate Holmes intercept buried any chance. 

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Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.