The third State of Origin match took place at C-Bus stadium in a historic moment for the Gold Coast, but 'ugly' scenes outside prompted many viewers to question why there were so many empty seats at kick-off.
The Blues were looking to pull off their first series sweep in 21 years on Wednesday night, with Covid-19 offering them the rare opportunity to win all three games on Queensland soil.
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The match was moved from NSW to the Gold Coast on short notice due to the state's Covid-19 restrictions causing chaos.
However, with fans flocking to take part in an Origin spectacle on the Gold Coast, enormous queues formed.
Supporters were left waiting to file into C-Bus stadium only minutes before the match.
The scenes, which were described as 'ugly' due to the lack of social-distancing, were filmed as kick-off was taking place.
— Brendan Hockings (@bhockings) July 14, 2021
— Tim Arvier (@TimArvier9) July 14, 2021
Whats going on? Covid concerns?
— Thomas Morgan (@thomasmorgan22) July 14, 2021
Scanners not working properly on mobile tickets to allow entry to CBUS - thousands still outside!! Taking about 20 seconds for each ticket to work I reckon!!#StateOfOrigin
— davesterific (@davesterific1) July 14, 2021
Some claimed the scanners were not working properly for mobile tickets, which caused a bottle neck.
Fans also took to social media to blast all the empty seats before kick-off.
NRL cash grab has missed its mark. Plenty of spare seats in a stadium with less than 30k for Origin. Real fans priced out. Despite all the circumstances, this is a humbling night for rugby league. The golden goose has its limits. #origin
— QUENTIN HULL (@QuentinHull) July 14, 2021
Fortunately, fans were able to file into the stadium and pack it out only minutes after kick-off.
Blues fall short of 21-year State of Origin history
Despite the chaos outside the stadium, the two teams put on a thrilling match with the Maroons winning a fiery 20-18 battle against NSW, despite the Blues winning the series 2-1.
The match came down to the final minutes as NSW received a penalty just beyond the halfway line in the 77th minute with the score in the Maroons favour at 20-18.
Mitchell kicked for goal to level the score, but the attempt fell agonisingly short and the Maroons claimed the final match of the series.
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