'Worst team ever' claims one of Qld's best

Ed Jackson
·2-min read

Queensland's "worst team" in State of Origin history has claimed one of the state's most memorable series wins.

Written off by NSW media and former captain Paul Gallen, the Maroons hung on in a frenetic finale to game three at Suncorp Stadium to secure a 20-14 win and the Origin shield.

The jibes were not missed by Maroons' skipper Daly Cherry-Evans after the match.

"On behalf of the worst-ever Queensland team, thank you very much," the Queensland captain said before lifting the shield.

The Maroons were an astonishing $3.25 to win game three with Sportsbet before the match as they fielded four debutants, taking their overall tally to 14 new caps in the series.

"You can't underestimate the power of the Maroon jersey," Queensland legend Johnathan Thurston said after the match.

"Along with Fatty's (Paul Vautin) coached team in 1995, I think this is one of Queensland's greatest ever Origin wins.

"It was a lot of noise down south about this being the worst-ever team assembled in the 40 years of Origin history, and like I just said, the power of the jersey does something to you, a great effort from the boys."

Vautin, who led a team of underdogs to a remarkable 3-0 series win 25 years ago, said the efforts of debutant Harry Grant, in particular, boded well for Queensland's future.

Grant came in to proceedings midway through the first half and the rookie transformed the game, even scoring a second-half try on his debut.

"Queensland thrive on that sort of stuff, to be called the worst team, that's just an added incentive for the great Maroons tonight," Vautin said.

"Corey Allan at the start ... a bit shaky, but he played well.

"Edrick Lee hadn't played in seven, eight weeks. He was outstanding.

"Lindsay Collins again was outstanding. Brenko Lee did his job, then Harry Grant who came on.

"It was a wonderful, wonderful Queensland performance."