Maroons crowned 2020 State of Origin champions

Queensland have been crowned the 2020 State of Origin winners after a 20-14 victory over New South Wales in the deciding game at Suncorp Stadium.

With one win each in Games I and II, the series came down to this match and it was the plucky Maroons side, led by ex-England and Great Britain boss Wayne Bennett, who came out on top.

The Maroons took an early lead as Valentine Holmes dived over acrobatically in the left-hand corner but the sides were soon back level after James Tedesco pounced on a spilt Nathan Cleary bomb to score.

The star fullback didn’t last too much longer on the field, after an accidental Josh Papalii knee to the head in the 20th-minute saw him ruled out for the remainder of the match.

Debutant Edrick Lee was next to cross the whitewash, getting on the end of a Cameron Munster cross-field kick before cutting back inside two defenders to give Queensland a six-point lead at halftime.

New South Wales were forced to defend several sets on their own line in second half’s opening minutes and it wasn’t long until they were shipping points again, with an offside call allowing Munster to add a penalty goal.

The introduction of livewire hooker Harry Grant then proved to be a masterstroke from Bennett, with the Melbourne Storm rookie sparking his side into life in attack before burrowing over to grab a debut try of his own.

With 15 minutes left, the Blues refused to admit defeat, with Daniel Tupou striding over in the corner before Nathan Cleary brought them back within six points with a penalty goal eight minutes from time.

With less than four minutes to go, the Blues were given a man advantage as Corey Allan was sin-binned for a professional foul on Josh Addo-Carr, who was taken out while chasing through his own kick towards the try-line.

But despite two full sets on their own line, the Maroons managed to stay resilient in defence to hold on for victory.

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