DCE makes sensational Origin comeback

Parts of the Suncorp Stadium crowd booed Daly Cherry-Evans when his name was read out by the announcer before State of Origin III.

But by fulltime, even his biggest knockers must have been ready for a generous serving of humble pie after a commanding performance from the Queensland halfback.

Playing in his long-awaited Origin comeback, Cherry-Evans was in everything for the Maroons as they scored a 18-12 victory over NSW to salvage some pride from a disappointing series.

"It's just a gentle reminder of how much Origin means to everyone in Queensland and how important it was for me to come back here and do myself and my state proud," Cherry-Evans told the Nine Network after the win.

"Three years is a long time in rugby league and I watched plenty of series unfold and Queensland do their thing and (I'm) stoked to be a part of it again."

The 29-year-old has a complicated relationship with fans in his home state.

There's a few different reasons - chief among them his decision to controversially renege on a contract he had signed with Gold Coast to stay at Manly three years ago.

There's also the long-running speculation that he was sent into Maroons exile - despite terrific NRL form since his last Origin appearance in 2015 - because other players couldn't stand him.

That rumour certainly didn't ring true on Wednesday night, when Cherry-Evans was mobbed by teammates after scoring his 58th minute try to give his side the lead.

It capped off a fine evening from the Sea Eagles skipper, who vindicated coach Kevin Walters' decision to hand him the playmaking reins after demoting Ben Hunt to a bench utility role.

The Maroons looked much more composed in attack and dominated the first half on the back of Cherry-Evans' intelligent pass selection and pinpoint kicking.

It was the type of display that should ensure he retains the No.7 jersey for next year's series.

That's bad news for Hunt, who now faces an uncertain future in the Origin arena but only has himself to blame for leaving the door ajar for Cherry-Evans in the first place.

"Unfortunately this series had already passed us by, by the time I got a shot but I'm going to do everything I can to get back here next year," Cherry-Evans said.