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A match that had everything ultimately played out in a similar vain to most over the past eight years, with QLD claiming victory and heading home with the Shield while NSW were left to contemplate the one that got away.

First points of the match went to the visitors as Thurston did what he has been doing to opposition defences for years and forced his way over the line to score beside the posts after 11 minutes.

And then a penalty on the following set for a late shot on Thurston gifted the visitors another two points as Thurston slotted the easy penalty attempt from right in front to extend their lead to eight.

Despite spotting the visitors a start the home side began to work their way into the game on the back of a mistake from QLD and also a penalty, and in the 20th minute, the Blues looked certain to score down the left through Hoffman and then in the right corner via McManus however some brilliant QLD defence thwarted the Blues attempts.

But finally in the 26th minute the Blues got on the board and it was McManus playing his first game for NSW since 2009 that went over in the corner. Maloney wasnt able to convert the conversion from the sideline which left the scoreboard reading 8-4.

It was all NSW for the final ten minutes of the half however some more staunch QLD defence combined with some poor NSW execution saw the scores remain 8-4 in favour of the visitors.

The Blues started the second half in similar fashion to the way that they ended the first and Dugan almost profited from a brilliant Fifita offload only to juggle the catch and ultimately put the ball down once he had broken the line.

It was fast becoming abundantly clear to all that the next points would be vital and after some 21 minutes of the second half it was a relatively simple try to Justin Hodges that handed the Maroons a 12-4 lead and with it seemed with it, their eighth straight series.

But when all appeared lost the Blues made one last surge and it was Trent Merrin who fired his way into a half hole and powered his way over from close range to leave the crowd on a knifes edge with 10 to play.

In a bizarre twist, a pitch invader was to have the final say when he managed to evade an armada of security personnel while the Maroons were on the attack in the Blues defensive zone.

Matt Scott made his way over the line but most in attendance and those at home knew it was unlikely to result in a try because of the interference, however rather than restarting play late in the tackle count, the Maroons were handed a scrum feed, and the six tackles that came with it.

A last minute roll of the dice from deep inside their own half came to nothing for NSW and as they have done for the previous seven years, the Maroons were left to celebrate another series win.

QLD Maroons 12 (J Thurston, J Hodges tries; J Thurston 2 goals)


NSW Blues 10 (J McManus, T Merrin tries; J Maloney goal).
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Parramatta Eels respect and honour 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.

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