Origin III: Queensland player ratings
WITH the series in the balance, Queensland showed its class once again with a series-clinching 22-6 defeat of NSW at Suncrop Stadium.
And it was a rookie who was nervous in the build-up to the match who stole the show.
Here's who battled and who stood up, in our Maroons player ratings.
1. Billy Slater (9)
No player is busier than the fullback. He covers so much ground. Defensively he makes a tackle and then defends the kick. In attack he changes angles and makes line breaks. He looked great up the middle and even better when on an edge. He broke five tackles and had two line breaks.
2. Valentine Holmes (8)
Scored the opening try of the match with a dive to the corner and scored the next untouched off a Cooper Cronk kick. He missed a catch in the second half which saw Josh Dugan score the Blues' first try. His hat-trick came in fine fashion, juggling a Cameron Munster long ball, rolling under the tackle of Blake Ferguson to score.
3. Will Chambers (7)
He's a world-class centre for a reason. He had Jarryd Hayne looking very nervous as he stepped and dummied to put Dane Gagai into space several times. He did lose a ball coming out of trouble which put his team under enormous pressure early in the second half but it wasn't an issue. He made 137 metres.
4. Michael Morgan (7)
He's a running five-eighth playing as a makeshift and he made Australian Test centre Josh Dugan look like a rookie, getting on his outside to set up his winger for the opening try. Did a great job defensively.
5. Dane Gagai (7.5)
Like his first two performances, the winger worked hard. He ran with purpose when carrying the ball out of trouble and ate metres for dinner. He'd made 102 metres by halftime. He brushes blokes off him like bugs when he wants with three tackle breaks. Finished with a game topping 157 metres.
6. Cameron Munster (9.5)
Nerves? What nerves. He certainly didn't look out of place. He plays with time and looks dangerous every time he touches the ball. He has declared to the other Origin contenders like DCE and the Milf that the line starts behind him. Broke the line to set up Holmes' third try and threw the final pass to put Jarrod Wallace over.
7. Cooper Cronk (8)
He's a great of the game for a reason. While he almost scored the Maroons' second try in the 17th minute before losing the ball short of the line, he soon made up for the error when he delivered an inch perfect cross-field kick to put Valentine Holmes over for a try untouched.
8. Dylan Napa (6.5)
He was well contained in the first half having only made one error, 36 metres from five runs and 13 tackles. Took some determined runs to finish the game with 80 metres and 23 tackles.
9. Cameron Smith (9)
He said he was displeased with his first two performances but he more than made up for quieter games with his performance on Wednesday. He was superb. The skipper showed his intentions early by running in the first set and he was involved in everything from then on. He jumped into first receiver at several stages, broke the line and everything in between. Finished the game with 40 tackles. The most influential man on the field.
10. Jarrod Wallace (7)
This was his best performance of the series. He jumped on a loose ball when the Blues were attacking his line. He scored a try in the 66th minute purely by staying busy, pouncing on a desperation pass from Munster.
11. Gavin Cooper (7)
Gave away the Maroons' first penalty by overworking Aaron Woods. Defensively he was impressive containing Boyd Cordner.
12. Matt Gillett (8)
A tireless worker who runs great lines. But his biggest asset is how he reads the play so well in defence. Forced a repeat set by chasing a Munster grubber at a clutch period of the game. Made an epic 41 tackles.
13. Josh McGuire (7.5)
He is relentless. Defensively he was appearing everywhere. He pumped out 31 minutes in his first stint for 56 running metres and 19 tackles.
14. Ben Hunt (2)
Made an eight-minute stint in the second half where he made two runs. No impact but he didn't need to, the game was won.
15. Josh Papalii (7)
He came on in the 23rd minute and was much improved on his first two performances. He ran with purpose which gave his side momentum. His game was multidimensional with the prop looking for the offload on several occasions.
16. Coen Hess (6)
Came on at the 25th minute for Wallace and made 10 metres from each of his runs. Also produced 14 tackles but nothing earth-shattering.
17. Tim Glasby (7)
They won't be asking who Glasby is anymore. He came on for McGuire at the 31st minute mark and left his mark. Pounced on a loose ball and made a beeline for the line to set up what should have been a try. Kept very busy with 105 metres from seven uses of the ball.