Maroons wrap up Origin series

Israel Folau was Queensland’s hero in the decisive State of Origin match on Wednesday, as they clinched the series with a 16-10 win at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney.nnMelbourne Storm winger Folau, only 19, bagged two tries to secure the Maroons’ third consecutive series victory.nnThe result was only their second win from fourteen matches in the New South Wales capital, after putting in yet another flawless defensive display.nnThe Blues, coached by Craig Bellamy, won the first match at the ANZ Stadium on May 21. But Mal Meninga’s Queensland tied it up with a record-equalling 30-0 win at the Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on June 11, before clinching their 13th Origin series in front of over 78,000 fans at New South Wales‘ home ground today.nnThe Maroons fell behind within two minutes, as Craig Fitzgibbon kicked a penalty, but were gifted a lead soon after when Scott Prince‘s cross-field kick was spilled by Folau’s Melbourne teammate Anthony Quinn, giving Folau a simple score.nnHalf-back Prince left the field after only 15 minutes with a rumoured broken arm, but New South Wales didn’t let their heads drop, and hit the front 8-4 through centre Matt Cooper‘s try, converted by Fitzgibbon.nnSeven minutes later, though, the Maroons were back on level terms through Folau’s second try. Another high kick, this time from stand-off Jonathan Thurston, was too much for winger Quinn, who saw Folau outjump him to catch the ball and touch down in the corner. Jonathon Thurston failed to add the extras, so the teams stayed level at 8-8.nnNew South Wales managed to grab an interval lead, after Fitzgibbon’s second penalty, and led 10-8 at the break, but failed to register another point after the restart.nnQueensland levelled through a Thurston penalty midway through the second half, before Billy Slater scored the killer try in the closing stages.

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