Smith praises players after Origin opener

Queensland captain Cameron Smith has commended the effort of his teammates after the Maroons took out Game I of State of Origin by two points.

Smith, playing in his record 37th match for the sunshine state, said his players were “outstanding”.

“I thought the boys were outstanding,” the hooker said.

“We had a couple of injuries there, a bit of a whack to Justin O’Neill but he got back up.

“And we lost ‘Morgo’, a pretty important part of our game-plan. Tonight was all about effort.

“Origin’s not about the best players or how much talent you’ve got, it’s about how tough you are when the going gets tough.

“I thought the boys really dug in deep. I’m really pleased with the outcome, it was a really tight affair.”

NSW scored first through Boyd Cordner and then Queensland responded through Dane Gagai.

That try, and an earlier penalty goal from Jonathan Thurston, was enough to see the Maroons home 4-6 in Sydney.

“We knew they had a fairly strong game-plan tonight,” Smith said.

“They didn’t mind taking the line on. We showed a lot of effort for each other.”

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