Re­venge as records and NSW shat­tered

Townsville Bulletin - - ORIGIN III - THE DECIDER - PETER BADEL

COP that NSW. The em­pire strikes back.

David Klem­mer’s trash- talk and NSW’s upris­ing claim was ruth­lessly razed as Queens­land pro­duced their most pun­ish­ing dis­play in Ori­gin history to keep the Meninga dy­nasty alive.

This wasn’t a de­cider. This was a hatchet job – the Ma­roons clinch­ing their ninth se­ries win in 10 years with a 52- 6 belt­ing as coach Mal Meninga savoured Queens­land’s great­est win on the night of his 55th birth­day.

It was a night of melo­drama and mile­stones. Be­fore a ground- record crowd of 52,500 at Sun­corp Sta­dium, Queens­land’s Dad’s Army proved age can­not weary them as Corey Parker and Matt Scott led a for­ward as­sault to give Justin Hodges his dream Ori­gin fi­nale.

Debu­tant Dane Ga­gai was one of eight tryscor­ers in the Ma­roons mas­sacre, with the 46- point mar­gin eclips­ing Queens­land’s pre­vi­ous record wins of 36- 6 ( 1989) and 30- 0 ( 2008).

When Will Cham­bers crashed over 12 min­utes from time, they cel­e­brated the most points in a game by a Ma­roons side – eclips­ing the 43 scored by Queens­land in 1983. Then Ai­dan Guerra pow­ered over in the 78th minute to bring up the half- cen­tury as Johnathan Thurston roared in mock joy: “Too f*** ing old!”

It was sim­ply as­ton­ish­ing. Not even Meninga could have en­vis­aged such a cake­walk. Amid the Sun­corp stitch- up, NSW lost the plot, with three Blues – James Tamou, Trent Mer­rin and Beau Scott – fin­ish­ing on re­port for var­i­ous acts of foul play. The Blues en­tered Ori­gin III brim­ming with con­fi­dence af­ter Klem­mer’s hard­man hero­ics in Game Two, but coach

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