Greg Inglis secured the season’s first State of Origin match for Queensland with an 18-10 win, breaking the Origin try scoring record in the process.
Inglis broke Dale Shearer’s record of 12 tries during a State of Origin career in controversial fashion, after which the New South Wales captain Paul Gallen was visibly furious with referees Matt Cecchin and Ben Cummings.
Gallen’s frustration was understandable after New South Wales put up a courageous performance which they arguably should have won the game with.
For arguably the first time in six years New South Wales looked the dominant side. Ricky Stuart’s Blues side had Queensland on the back foot, but the momentum was lost on the back of Michael Jennings’ sin binning after punching Brent Tate.
Matt Scott was unhappy being pushed by Greg Bird, and this resulted in players form both sides running in and producing a fight from nothing.
Jennings’ sin binning gave Queensland the advantage, and they nearly capitalised quickly only for Brent Tate to ground the ball on the corner flag before being forced into touch.
But Queensland levelled the scores though Boyd. Queensland moved the ball to the left wing, and some excellent handling movement from Billy Slater ensured the winger could score in the corner.
Johnathan Thurston converted Boyd’s try to nudge the Maroons ahead 13 minutes until half time.
Queensland took an eight point lead in similar fashion to Boyd’s first try on the stoke of half time. Cooper Cronk found Thurston, who had several dummy runners playing around him bamboozling the Blues defence, creating space for Boyd to score his second try in the same corner.
New South Wales needed a good start to the second half, and they got just that as Jennings made up for his 10 minute absence earlier in the match.
The Blues had Queensland on the back foot again as Stuart’s men looked the better side, out performing the Maroons in nearly every area of the game. New South Wales just couldn’t get over their opponent’s try line and make the advantage count.
Pearce’s offload around a Queensland defender found Hayne, who quickly offloaded to Jennings. Jennings didn’t have enough pace along the left flank, and opted to kick infield to the supporting Stewart.
Stewart was beaten to ground the ball in-goal by Thaiday, but the Maroons were starting to wobble despite still being 12-10 ahead.
However Queensland sealed the game with a huge slice of luck from the video referee. With seven minutes left to play Inglis touched down for the record breaking try.
Cronk’s kick was knocked back by Slater, and allowed Inglis to collect the ball. However the controversy surrounded whether Inglis lost control of the ball before grounding it, or if Farah intentionally kicked it out of his hands.
The video referee deemed that the New South Welshman had intentionally kicked the ball out of the hands of the Queenslander, and Thurston’s conversion gave the Maroons an eight point lead from which New South Wales never recovered from.
New South Wales scores: T- Uate, Jennings. G- Carney
Queensland scores: T- Boyd (2), Inglis. G- Thurston (3)
New South Wales: B.Stewart; Hayne, Jennings, Morris, Uate; Carney, Pearce; Gallen, Farah, Tamou; G.Stewart, Lewis, Bird. Subs: Merrin, Buhrer, Creagh, Williams.
Queensland: Slater; Boyd, Inglis, Hodges, Tate; Thurston, Cronk; Scott, Smith, Civoniceva; Myles, Thaiday, Harrison. Subs: Gillett, Taylor, Hannant, Shillington.
Referees: Matt Cecchin & Ben Cummings
Half time: 4-12