A Cameron Munster masterclass and a brilliant debut from Queensland super-sub Harry Grant ended the Blues' bid for a third straight State of Origin series win in Brisbane on Wednesday.
The Blues were strong favourites heading into the decider with Brad Fittler striving to become only the second NSW coach to win three consecutive series. But the Suncorp Stadium curse struck again with Queensland hanging on desperately at the death for a 20-14 victory to take the series 2-1.
Going into the game, NSW had won just two of the 11 deciders played north of the border.
Not helping their cause was the loss of skipper James Tedesco after just 20 minutes to concussion. He never returned.
Munster was in everything for the Maroons and Grant was dynamic out of dummy half when thrown into the game by coach Wayne Bennett.
Knights winger Edrick Lee, one of four Maroons debutants, scored a first half try in a great first up Origin performance.
NSW were gallant in defeat, having to defend for long periods as the Maroons dominated possession and territory.
They never really threatened until late in the game when winger Daniel Tupou gave them a faint hope of snatching the game out of the bag with a try that put them within striking distance.
Queensland came out with plenty of intent and aided by 62 percent of first half possession, dominated the opening 40 minutes to lead 12-6 at the break.
Their first raid on the Blues try-line produced points with Daly Cherry-Evans and Cameron Munster combining before Valentine Holmes went over in the corner after just four minutes and converted for a 6-0 advantage.
The Blues hit back quickly with Tedesco taking full advantage of a nervous mistake from Maroons debutant fullback Corey Allan.
Allan fumbled a Nathan Cleary bomb right on his own line with Tedesco forcing the loose ball over the line under the nose of Cherry-Evans. Cleary converted to tie things up. But it was NSW's only joy of the half.
From that point on, it was all Queensland as they dominated field position and continually peppered the Blues defence.
To their credit, NSW held firm, despite the huge blow in losing their skipper Tedesco. But just as it appeared like they may go into the break on level terms, Munster produced some magic four minutes from the break.
First, he kicked for himself and regathered to put his side on the attack. Then with the Blues defense in disarray, he crossed kicked into open space for Edrick Lee to score out wide. Holmes converted for their 12-6 lead.
Holmes could easily have extended that advantage early in the second half but spilled a tough pass with the line open and a try went begging. But he didn't have to wait long to add to his points tally after landing a penalty goal 58 minutes in to give his side a 14-6. Grant's try five minutes later sealed the Blues fate.