State of Origin – Game 1

Queensland held off a gallant comeback from New South Wales to claim victory in the State of Origin opener.

The Blues put their rivals on the back foot from the start and were soon ahead through a Kurt Gidley penalty.

But the Maroons hit back when the electric Billy Slater raced through to ground Cameron Smith‘s neat grubber kick.

A controversial video referee decision denied Jarryd Hayne what looked to be a certain try by ruling he had a foot in touch.

The Maroons went for the jugular and after Greg Inglis had grabbed the first of his two scores, Jonathan Thurston was on hand to finish off a flowing Queensland attack.

Hayne was involved again, flipping the ball inside for the impressive Ben Creagh to touch down and give the Blues a glimmer of hope at 18-6 at the break.

But the unstoppable Inglis dealt the killer blow at the start of the second half at Queensland looked to be cruising.

The ‘Baby Blues’ were not about to give up and thanks to two slightly lucky scores through Craig wing, who collected a fortunate bounce and Hayne who received the scoring pass from Robbie Farah‘s rebounded kick-and-collect, they looked to be back in it.

But a crucial knock on from Blues skipper Kurt Gidley allowed Darius Boyd to race over from the scrum and seal the victory for Queensland.

One blow for the Maroons is the loss of star centre Justin Hodges who will miss the rest of the series with a knee ligament injury.

The Blues’ comeback will give heart to coach Craig Bellamy but they will have it all to do when the pair meet in Sydney on June 24.




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