Munster’s Maroons complete series win
14 July, 2017, 12:00 am
It was a night to farewell a legend but the Maroons have uncovered Johnathan Thurston’s heir apparent after Cameron Munster’s stunning State of Origin debut in Queensland’s 22-6 Game Three win at Suncorp Stadium.
Played in front of a ground record of 52,540 predominantly Queensland fans Munster was involved heavily from the outset, Storm teammates Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk showing great faith to bring their new five-eighth into the play at every opportunity.
Queensland had never handed a half an Origin debut in a Game Three decider in 35 years of three-match series but any concerns the Rockhampton product would shy away from the occasion were almost immediately dispelled.
It was Munster’s pass that created the space for Michael Morgan to put Valentine Holmes across for the first of his three tries in the 15th minute but it was midway through the second half that the 22-year-old endeared himself to an entire state.
With the match hanging in the balance and the Blues finally building into the contest after trailing 12-0 at half-time it was Munster who broke the game apart in the 60th minute with a brilliant piece of play to set up Holmes for his third try of the night.Spotting Blues half Mitchell Pearce shooting out of the line, Munster stepped hard off his left to slice between Pearce and Boyd Cordner, evaded the clutches of Josh Dugan and sent the pass wide to Holmes who miraculously reeled in one-handed a pass that was high and behind him, bouncing out of two tackles to score in the corner and a 16-6 lead.
Some wonderful interplay between Cronk and Slater put the Maroons on the attack again shortly thereafter and it was Munster who dropped the ball onto his left foot and earned his side an invaluable repeat set.