Munster’s ball: Hail Maroons’ new King Cam
Lewis. Lockyer. Thurston. Munster.
Cameron Munster joined an illustrious group of Queensland five-eighths after leading the Maroons to an incredible State of Origin series victory at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
Munster was sublime as the Maroons celebrated Origin's 40th anniversary with a gripping 20-14 win in the decider to clinch their first series since 2017.
And it was Munster's ball at The Cauldron as the Maroons No.6 celebrated his 10th Origin game with his finest performance, which was capped off by him winning the Wally Lewis Medal as the man of the series.
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Munster lasted only two minutes at ANZ Stadium last week before suffering a concussion which cruelled his and Queensland's night as NSW levelled the series.
He made up for lost time last night as the Maroons ensured NSW's last win in a decider in Queensland remains the Blues' 2005 triumph.
The Blues' 15-year decider hoodoo at Suncorp Stadium remains intact and a lot of that is due to the brilliance of Munster.
Munster's debut in the 2017 decider remains one of Origin's finest first-game performances but it came in a team featuring Queensland legends and Melbourne teammates Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Cooper Cronk.
Since then, Munster has spoken of his desire to lead Queensland to a series win without the so-called "Big Three". He has now done it.
"There's no better feeling than playing at Lang Park," Munster said.
"It's our first series win without the big boys. We got it done tonight. Let's celebrate.
"Thank you Queensland."
With one of the least experienced teams in Origin history, the Maroons needed a hero to guide them on Wednesday night and Munster stood up.
The Melbourne Storm premiership winner was simply sensational in a first half blitz to give Queensland a 12-6 lead at the break.
Munster came of age. He took the game on and delivered.
In doing so, he joined the likes of Wally Lewis, Darren Lockyer and Johnathan Thurston as some of Queensland's greatest ever five-eighths.
At 26, Munster's Origin career is far from over and Queensland has found a player that can lead the next generation of Maroons.
Munster's heroics and the impact of debutant dummy-half Harry Grant proved the Maroons have a bright future ahead of them.
Grant was dynamite off the bench, giving the Maroons a spark they lacked in the opening two games of the series. He could play Origin for another 10 years.
The Maroons did their best to bomb the game late in the contest.
Despite losing star fullback James Tedesco (concussion) in the 20th minute, the Blues' gallant defence stood up time and again, repelling numerous Maroon raids.
The Blue wall eventually cracked when Grant scored in the 63rd minute, but Queensland allowed them back into the contest minutes later.
In the strangest of years, the strangest of series headed for a nailbiting finish.
A captain's challenge in the final seconds delayed Queensland's incredible win, but it couldn't dampen the spirit of the Maroons.
The State of Origin shield is heading back to Queensland and Cameron Munster played a big part in that happening.
Originally published as Munster's ball: Hail Maroons' new King Cam