NRL 3 years ago

Are Maroons the greatest Origin team?

  • Are Maroons the greatest Origin team?

Paul Gallen called it the most-emphatic win in top flight rugby league, let alone State of Origin in recent memory.

Blues coach Laurie Daley never saw it coming and was at a loss to explain it.

Melbourne coach and former NSW mentor Craig Bellamy was shocked and had never seen a more-dominant effort in his lengthy career.

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The question is being asked - was Queensland's effort in Game III the best performance by a rugby league side?

With a team brimming with future Immortals - in the likes of Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Greg Inglis - Queensland put the Blues to the sword on Wednesday night with a 52-6 victory.

The Blues were blown off the park from the opening whistle and the Maroons never relented.

It was the biggest winning margin in Origin history, the 46-point differential surpassing NSW's 56-16 win over Queensland in Game III in 2000.

"Everything went right for them," Blues skipper Gallen said.

"I haven't seen a game like that in first grade, let alone in Origin, since NSW did it to them in the early 2000s.

"They were totally dominant - they controlled the game.

"As I said, they beat us."

According to Fox Sports Stats, Queensland spent more than two thirds of the game with ball in hand, enjoying 67 per cent possession.

They ran more than twice as many metres - 1531 to 731 - and forced NSW to make nearly twice as many tackles - 315 to 177.

The work they forced the Blues to do took its toll - NSW missed 30 tackles to Queensland's eight, while the Maroons made nine line breaks compared to the Blues' one.

"I've never seen that sort of toll in an Origin match," Daley said.

"70-30 (possession), we had to make 150 more tackles and, when you're playing against a team like that and they don't have to defend, it makes it pretty tough.

"We're a better footy team than that and we showed it in Game II."

Bellamy, who coached NSW from 2008-10, said he could not remember a more-lopsided Origin game.

"I was shocked at the score and the way it came about," Bellamy said.

"I think I've seen most Origin games and I don't think I've ever seen a more-dominant performance than that.

"No one saw that coming at all, everyone thought it would be a really close game so - to get beaten like that - surprised everyone.

"It was a very complete performance."

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