Biggest crowd for best of Queenland's 'worst'

Sports | ASSOCIATED PRESS 20 Nov 2020

Queensland beat New South Wales 20-14 in the third and deciding State of Origin rugby league match before 49,155 fans - the biggest crowd for a sporting event worldwide since lockdowns for Covid-19 started.

Inexperienced Queensland saved it for their home ground to produce one of the biggest upsets in the 40-year history of the series after being widely written off as the worst state team in decades.

And the crowd beat the 46,000 attendance at a Bledisloe Cup rugby union match in New Zealand last month.

Queensland defended with a man down in the final three minutes to win the decider, with Harry Grant changing the game after being brought on early in the first half to play from dummy-half.

He lunged for the line and scored for a 20-6 lead with 15 minutes to go, and Queensland then held on.

A Daniel Tupou try and a New South Wales penalty goal made it a six-point game inside the final 10 minutes. And Queensland's Valentine Holmes twice fumbling chances to seal the result either side of that in a wild finish.

Queensland full back Corey Allan was sent to the sin-bin for a foul with three minutes to go for blocking Josh Addo-Carr's path to the try line. But the home side then defended tenaciously.

Captain Daly Cherry-Evans finished the trophy presentation by taking a dig at critics of his team: "On behalf of the worst-ever Queensland team, thank you very much."

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