Practice made perfect
Practice made perfect for Cooper Cronk in State of Origin III as the Maroons halfback sank a monster field goal to give a courageous Queensland its seventh straight Origin title with an epic 21-20 win over NSW at Suncorp Stadium.
Cronk sank the match-winner, along with the hearts of the big-talking Blues, in the 75th minute when he banged the ball between the posts from 39m out to jubilant scenes from the Maroons faithful.
Record-breaking Queensland coach Mal Meninga - now the most successful coach in Origin history after eclipsing Phil Gould's record of 14 wins - revealed Cronk had been practising field goals at training all week in anticipation of a nail-biting finish to the 2012 series.
That is just how it panned out - and fittingly it was the Queensland No.7 who delivered the Maroons their seventh series win with his golden boot.
The victory was one for the ages, given NSW's belief that their time had come, the Maroons dynasty was over, and the barrage of flak coming from south of the border in the lead up to the match.
As usual, the Maroons stayed focused on the task, and despite falling well behind in the first half, kept grinding away until the job was done.
The incredible victory was a fitting farewell for veteran workhorse Petero Civoniceva, was once again tireless up front in his final game for the Maroons.
There were plenty of heroes for Queensland, with Nate Myles - playing the best football of his career - being awarded the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series after another heroic display in the second row.
Greg Inglis was at his brutal and ruthless best at fullback, easing the pain of the Maroons being forced to play the decider without their champion No.1 Billy Slater.
But there were massive efforts right across the park - the forward pack exerted its dominance after coming under fire in the first two games, Johnathan Thurston was at his scheming best at five-eighth, the backs were strong and aggressive, and captain Cameron Smith was - as always - a class above at hooker.
Any doubts about this Queensland team being the greatest Origin side in history have now been erased.
An ecstatic Big Mal hailed the Maroons win as a victory for the ages.
``What a champion footy side this is and we have got to appreciate the challenge they have met,'' Mal said after the game.``I'm very proud of the boys and the way they went about their game and because of that they're celebrating.''