5 Jul 2012

Reds pip Blues for seventh straight Origin series

11:32 am on 5 July 2012

Mal Meninga hailed his "champion" Queensland side after Cooper Cronk's late field goal sealed a seventh successive State of Origin series in a thrilling decider in Brisbane.

Cronk's 40-metre field goal with four minutes remaining shattered New South Wales and secured a 21-20 series-winning victory for the Maroons at Suncorp Stadium.

Queensland's skipper Cameron Smith says it was the toughest series he's played, and it was one of the best moments of his career as it sent the retiring Petero Civoniceva out as a winner.

Blues coach Ricky Stuart admitted the result was very hard to take but he had no complaints about the loss, despite a dubious try awarded to Justin Hodges with the help of an obstruction which contributed to Queensland's 16-8 lead at half-time.

Stuart hinted after the match he'll be back for a third Origin series next year.