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Queensland nice Billy Slater has left the State of Starting place enviornment on a successful be aware, because the Maroons avoided New South Wales finishing a chain whitewash with an exhilarating 18-12 victory in Recreation III in Brisbane.
Slater, captaining the Maroons for the primary time in his ultimate Starting place look, was once distinguished all over the Maroons’ morale-boosting win and claimed the Wally Lewis Medal as participant of the sequence, slightly strangely as he neglected the primary fit in Melbourne.
The Blues, who been chasing their first blank sweep since 2000, had wrapped up the sequence with victory in Recreation Two final month, however they have been outclassed via the Maroons at Lang Park, with the house facet scoring 3 tries to 2 within the useless rubber.
Whilst it was once an emotional send-off for stand-in skipper Slater in his 31st and ultimate Starting place, it marked a cheerful go back for Maroons half-back Daly Cherry-Evans in entrance of a 51,214-strong crowd.
The polarising playmaker in any case received over the Maroons trustworthy with a masterful show in his first Starting place in 3 years.
The Maroons have a good time after Daly Cherry-Evans scored the decisive take a look at in the second one half of. (AAP: Dave Hunt)
The Blues seemed like they’d play the position of birthday celebration poopers on Slater’s farewell once they someway snatched a 12-Eight half-time lead regardless of having five-eighth James Maloney within the bin and little ownership.
And guy of the instant, Slater, have been denied a take a look at now not as soon as however two times.
But the Maroons dug deep to recapture the by no means say die angle that had propelled them to 11 sequence wins within the final 12 years to in any case smash their 2018 duck.
Slater leads Maroons with difference
Slater took over the Maroons captaincy for the primary time in his ultimate recreation after Greg Inglis broke his thumb.
With Inglis sidelined, Slater was once the final guy status from Queensland’s 2006 staff that sparked their outstanding decade of dominance.
It closed the curtain on Slater’s 14 yr Starting place profession however it kind of feels Cherry-Evans’s is set to take off.
The Manly skipper appeared to have ended hypothesis he had fallen out with the Maroons via changing into their poster boy on Wednesday night time.
Valentine Holmes (L) celebrates his 2nd take a look at with Daly Cherry-Evans. (AAP: Darren England)
He had a hand in winger Valentine Holmes’ 2nd take a look at within the 51st minute ahead of crashing over himself seven mins later after a Cameron Munster smash, giving the hosts the lead 18-12.
The Blues threatened a final minute take a look at however Holmes dramatically snuffed out the Blues’ assault with a diving intercept at complete stretch.
The omens weren’t excellent for Queensland when Trevor Gillmeister slipped down the steps leaving a distinct pre-game on-field presentation honouring former Maroons skippers.
It didn’t get well when Slater was once denied a fourth minute take a look at off a Cherry-Evans kick, with the video referee ruling a knock-on.
And within the 31st, Slater was once obstructed via Maloney seeking to reel in a Cameron Munster grubber. Maloney was once sin-binned — however it was once the Blues who struck subsequent.
James Maloney of the Blues (L) is shipped to the sin-bin right through the primary half of. (AAP: Dave Hunt)
In a outstanding show of defensive grit, the Blues continued six immediately units via Queensland as they have been pressured to kick goal-line drop-out after drop-out ahead of sinking the slipper into the hosts.
With Queensland taking part in 70 in keeping with cent ownership with 10 mins left, the Blues defied being a person down via scoring two times in 3 mins.
Blues winger Tom Trbojevic snapped up Munster’s errant go within the 37th minute and ran 90 metres to attain.
Then 3 mins later full-back James Tedesco stuck Josh McGuire out in defence and crashed over.
The Blues rejoice with the State of Starting place defend after Recreation III in Brisbane. (AAP: Darren England)