Queensland (6) 16
Tries: Johnson, Hodges, Slater Goals: Thurston 2
NSW (14) 28
Tries: Creagh 2, Williams, Morris Goals: Ennis 3, Gidley 3
Ben Creagh (centre) scored two tries to help NSW to victory
New South Wales battled to a bruising victory over Queensland in the third game of the State of Origin series to avoid a whitewash in Brisbane.
Heading into the game with a 2-0 series deficit, New South Wales refused to treat the encounter as a dead rubber.
Queensland scored first through lock Dallas Johnson before Ben Creagh hit back for the visitors.
Blues went on to dominate, by scoring four tries to three after a 66th-minute try from Creagh sealed the win.
Queensland won the first two matches in Melbourne and Sydney by 10 points each to clinch an unprecedented fourth consecutive series win.
In a frantic and at times violent final few minutes, Maroons veteran Steve Price was stretchered off after a punch by NSW prop Brett White and then Blues second-rower Trent Waterhouse was sent off for being the third man into the brawl.
Blues lock Anthony Watmough said: "It was a good tough battle. A lot of boys in that team haven't had an Origin win, so it means the world to us.
"It was a dogfight. Up-and-under for an all-in - that's footy. Things got heated but that's what people come to see. I'm sure the people enjoyed it. It was toe-to-toe. That's all there is to it."
The disappointment of the series defeat was softened though as New South Wales managed to deny the Maroons a first State of Origin series sweep since 1995 with a ferociously committed display.
Favourites Queensland took the lead in the 12th minute through Johnson but Creagh replied six minutes later off a short ball from loose forward Anthony Watmough close to the line.
New South Wales winger David Williams was awarded a try in the 34th minute by the video referee after he juggled the ball off a Trent Barrett kick.
It became the first eight-point try in Origin's 29-year-history when Johnathan Thurston was placed on report for lashing out with his boot trying to prevent the winger from grounding the ball.
The Maroons cut the deficit to 14-10 four minutes into the second half, as centre Justin Hodges beat four tackles wide on the right to barge over.
But his opposite number Josh Morris scored minutes later before captain Kurt Gidley converted to make it 20-10 to the Blues.
Billy Slater reduced the gap to four points, but Creagh's second try made sure Blues avoided the whitewash.
Queensland captain Darren Lockyer said: "We didn't get the result we hoped for but to win four series in a row is a tremendous achievement and we shouldn't forget that."
Queensland: Billy Slater, Darius Boyd, Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Willie Tonga, Darren Lockyer (captain), Johnathan Thurston, Steve Price, Cameron Smith, Matt Scott, Ashley Harrison, Sam Thaiday, Dallas Johnson.
Replacements: Karmichael Hunt, David Shillington, Neville Costigan, Michael Crocker.
New South Wales: Kurt Gidley (captain), Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, David Williams, Trent Barrett, Brett Kimmorley, Justin Poore, Michael Ennis, Josh Perry, Ben Creagh, Trent Waterhouse, Anthony Watmough.
Replacements: Brett White, Craig Wing, Glenn Stewart, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.