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Queensland downs New South Wales 32-8 in game 3 to avoid State of Origin sweep

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BRISBANE, Australia - Queensland claimed a resounding 32-8 win over New South Wales in the third and final State of Origin rugby league match Wednesday to avoid conceding its first series whitewash since 2000.

Despite New South Wales clinching the series after the second match last month, Queensland dominated from the kickoff in front of a home crowd of 50,155 at Lang Park.

"It is bittersweet, but it is nice to play some footy in front of our fans," Queensland coach Mal Meninga said. "It showed they still have a lot of pride in the jersey."

Trent Hodkinson opened the scoring for New South Wales with a penalty early in the match before Maroons captain Cameron Smith gathered a Daly Cherry-Evans kick in the 37th minute to give Queensland a 6-2 lead into halftime.

Billy Slater crossed for a try four minutes into the second half, with Johnathan Thurston — who kicked six goals from six attempts — then adding a penalty.

The Blues drew closer with a Josh Dugan try in the 61st minute, before Queensland crossed for three tries in six minutes via Darius Boyd, Aidan Guerra and Cooper Cronk.

Boyd crossed in the 72nd minute before Guerra capped an impressive night with his first Origin try two minutes later. Cooper Cronk, who broke his arm in game one of the series, sealed the win in the 78th.

Maroons backrower Corey Parker was named man of the match.

___

Scores:

Queensland 32 (Cameron Smith, Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Aidan Guerra, Cooper Cronk tries; Johnathan Thurston 6 goals), New South Wales 8 (Josh Dugan try; Trent Hodkinson 2 goals). HT: 6-2.

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