'Ruining the game': Anger over 'bewildering' drama in State of Origin decider

Kevin Walters has confidence in his selection. Image Adam Head

In fact it took just five words for Walters to pour cold water on rumours he would be lost to the NRL in 2020 by boldly claiming: "I'll be back next year".

"I was definitely thinking it (field goal)".

The Maroons seemingly losing all of the momentum they had in the first half, the Blues claimed two tries in the first ten minutes, courtesy of Tedesco and Cook. Pearce made his debut as a teenager in 2008 and then unfairly shouldered most of the blame for seven series losses.

It was a nervous final 10-minutes until Tedesco's magic and after the game he was rightly awarded the Wally Lewis Medal for the player of the series.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters speaks to the media during the Queensland Maroons State of Origin captain's run at ANZ Stadium on June 23, 2018 in Sydney, Australia.

"I thought Papalli was our best player last night, I thought he was outstanding, and with our attack Munster was unsafe every time we got the ball". He (Cherry-Evans) just ran out of time.

MAN OF THE MATCH: James Tedesco.

"And when you do go for a field goal at that stage and you miss, you give seven tackles and you open yourself up for the opposition to get down your end".

"I feel like the rest of Queensland, I'm shattered, really shattered", he said, fighting back tears.

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NRL head of football Graham Annesley said the dramatic reduction in penalties was a effect of the first-half crackdown and not due to officials telling referees to put their whistles away. Tedesco sparked NSW into attack in the first half and scored a double in the second, including the last-minute victor.

"It has to be placed in the context that this was an Origin decider", Annesley told AAP.

"If the referees just ignored that, the game degenerates into an arm wrestle for 80 minutes".

"The referees are interfering in this game too much tonight", he later added.

Sutton was among those criticised for blunders in the clash between the Warriors and Penrith, including sending Jarome Luaito the sin bin when he should not have been.

The referees came under fire in the first half.

Walters has one year left on his contract with the QRL, but there has been talk this Origin series could be his last if he's propelled into the Gold Coast Titans head coaching role at the expense of the under pressure Garth Brennan.

"Ultimately, the players determined the outcome, which is an important aspect for us".

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