In a bruising encounter, which will also certainly see captain Paul Gallen spend time on the sideline for a pro boxer worthy combo on Nate Myles, NSW led 14-0 at half time and held onto a second half Queensland onslaught.
Laurie Daley’s debut as Origin coach couldn’t have gone more smoothly against former teammate Mal Meninga as his charges out-enthused their more experienced opponents who have made winning this series a habit since 1995.
Queensland half-back Johnathan Thurston was clearly hindered by an injury, and a rampant NSW defensive line, while Greg Inglis was uncharacteristically quiet.
Jarryd Hayne opened the scoring for the Blues in the fifth minute after a deft inside ball from utility forward Luke Lewis. Debutant James Maloney made no mistake with the conversion to give the Blues a 6-0 lead.
This became 8-0 after Cameron Smith was penalised for stripping.
Just before the break the Blues were in again through Michael Jennings, who danced through tackles from some of the Maroons highest regarded defenders, including Myles and Sam Thaiday.
With under 20 minutes on the clock, the Maroons created something from nothing as sleeping giant Inglis set up Darius Boyd in the corner. Smith converted but that’s how the scores ended.
Game two is in Brisbane on June 26
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