Origin One – Brisbane

Origin 1 NSW 12, QLD 8

Reversing what seemed a shaky start, the Maroons crossed in the first five minutes. Darius Boyd took advantage of a slip from Josh Morris to post the first four points in the left corner. Thruston was unable to add the extras.

The Blues took the setback for what it was – a simple misfooting and began to pressure the Queenslanders with repeat sets and big yardage gains. A

fter 30 minutes the Maroons hadn’t made an error but were still trailing because of their lack of possession. And with the constant defence came the first signs of a Game One upset.

Origin OneQueensland lynchpin Cooper Cronk left the field with a broken arm. Daly Cherry-Evans rushed on to replace him – and played manfully. But the structure of the Queensland spine was broken and the fluency of their attack never recovered.

Soon after the break the Blues had an 8 point margin and had settled into a yard eating rhythm. Queensland was finding some success down the left hand side of the field. But they were turned away, again and again, from the try line with desperate NSW defence.

At the 50 minute mark Queensland ramped up their defence and pinned NSW in their own 20. The tackling was brutal, energy sapping, and thrilled the parochial supporters. Gang tackles of 3 and 4 men revealed an urgency in their play that reflected their mounting concern with the scoreboard..

It was Jarrod Hayne who turned the tables: Taking Billy Slater in a man-on-man tackle and pinching out a potential equalizer. Just as, later, Josh Morris showed Darius Boyd the sideline and bundled him into touch when Boyd attempted to pass him.

The Blues weren’t fooled by decoy runners and had an answer for everything the Maroons threw at them. When Aiden Guerra and Chris McQueen were used as dummy runners to raid the NSW line the Blues didn’t fall for it – Instead staying straight on their men and thus allowing Morris to number up on Boyd.

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