Gagai treble seals Origin for Queensland


Dane Gagai's stunning hat-trick sealed Queensland's 10th State of Origin title in the last 11 years as the Maroons beat New South Wales 26-16 in a pulsating clash.

Gagai became the first player to score three times in the same Origin game since 2005, but they were made to battle for their unassailable 2-0 lead.

Corey Oates' late try and the reliable boot of Johnathan Thurston completed Queensland's scoring, while the Maroons' resolute defence did enough to stop a Blues revival.

Tyson Frizell and James Maloney threatened to snatch a win for the Blues to take the series into a decider, and they would have done so had Michael Jennings not knocked on beyond the try line.

Early Queensland pressure provided a warning sign for the Blues but New South Wales were able to keep the Maroons at bay as both sides were restricted to a pair of penalties, Thurston and Adam Reynolds kicking with precision.

The Blues began to make progress of their own but were made to rue handling errors as Gagai opened the scoring just after the half hour with an opportunistic score.

As Josh Mansour failed to collect Jennings' pass, Gagai intercepted on his own 22 and raced the length of the pitch to score - despite the best attempts of Frizzell and Blake Ferguson.

The ever consistent Thurston added the extras, and he was on hand again early in the second half after Gagai pounced.

New South Wales were caught short on the left and a looped pass from Justin O'Neill gave Gagai a free run to the line.

Thurston's conversion gave Queensland a 16-4 lead, but the Blues began to cut their deficit just before the hour as debutant Frizzell touched down under the posts from Reynolds' offload.

A pinpoint grubber kick from Thurston was pounced on by Gagai after 63 minutes - completing his treble - but still the Blues came forward.

Maloney crossed for an interception try of his own four minutes later before Frizell looked to have given Blues the chance to take the lead with a conversion attempt with a second try.

However, Jennings knocked on moments before Frizell touched down.

Having soaked up all that pressure, Queensland established a double-digit cushion thanks to Oates to wrap up another Origin triumph.