LITTLE MAN: BIG WIN

The smallest man on the field, Matt Bowen, came up with the biggest play of the night as Queensland stole an amazing 24-20 golden-point State of Origin win over NSW at Suncorp Stadium last night.

Bowen plucked a Brett Kimmorley pass out of thin air in the fourth minute of extra time to break the deadlock after the scores were locked at 20-all after 80 gripping minutes. Bowen's North Queensland team-mate, half- back Johnathan Thurston, playing in his first Origin, sent the thriller into the golden point scenario for only the second time with his 78th- minute field goal.

Thurston's match-saving strike wobbled over after a NSW player got a hand on the ball.

The first game of last year's series was also decided by a golden point when NSW five-eighth Shaun Timmons squeezed a field goal over to snatch victory.

Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer missed with a desperate 44-metre field goal with less than a minute to play in regular time which hardly got off the ground.

He had a chance to win the game in the 76th minute but missed his 33-metre penalty kick which drifted left of the posts.

Lockyer's boot wasn't kind as he also missed with another long-range field goal in the 83rd minute.



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