The result sees Queensland draw the series and retain the Shield. The match went down to the wire with both sides leading at various intervals during the match. At half time NSW led by 12-8.
The match remained in the balance with neither side making many inroads into the defence. Finally NSW appeared to have broken the back of the Qld resistence only to see winger Tahu lose control of the ball over the line in the 55th minute.
Four minutes later, veteran Qld forward Shane Webcke barged over and the Maroons hit the front 14-12. With heads down, the Blues forwards looked out of it. The Tahu fumble followed by the Webcke try looking like the turning point of the match. To compound matters, NSW began making a series of handling errors.
The Blues came back however with a try in the 75th minute to Moodie out wide. The NSW forwards looking all but beaten can thank the Johns / Barrett combination for setting up what looked like a match winning try.
With 5 minutes to go, NSW led 18-14.
But in a final twist, Queenslander Dane Carlaw took full advantage of a missed tackle to race 40 metres to score a tremendous try five metres in from touch. Lote Tuqiri who had a poor night with the boot was unable to convert and the scores were leveled at 18-all.
The result means Queensland retain the State of Origin Shield by virtue of the fact that they are the current holders of the title.
This is only the second time in Origin history that a series has been drawn.
26 June 2002 Stadium Australia Ref: W Harrigan STATE OF ORIGIN III