New South Wales have won the first game in the 2017 State of Origin series, defeating Queensland 28-4 at Suncorp Stadium after leading 12-4 at half-time.
The star of the show for the Blues was Cronulla forward Andrew Fifita, who created the opening try of the game by James Maloney with a superb break and then set up their second try just before the break by Mitchell Pearce after another great dash downfield.
James Maloney converted both tries, while the Maroons had replied with a try by Corey Oates, superbly created by a Cooper Cronk bomb towards the left touchline, which Oates collected superbly to touch down.
But that was as good as it got for Queensland, as the Blues grew increasingly dominant in the second half, scoring three more tries by James Tedesco, Fifita and Jarryd Hayne, who had a strong game on his recall to the Origin arena.
The second game of the series will be played in Sydney in three weeks’ time.
Queensland: 1. Darius Boyd, 2. Corey Oates, 3. Will Chambers, 4. Justin O’Neill, 5. Dane Gagai, 6. Anthony Milford, 7. Cooper Cronk, 8. Dylan Napa, 9. Cameron Smith (C), 10. Nate Myles, 11. Josh Papalii, 12. Matt Gillett, 13. Josh McGuire; Interchange: 14. Michael Morgan, 15. Sam Thaiday, 16. Aidan Guerra, 17. Jacob Lillyman.
New South Wales: 1. James Tedesco, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Josh Dugan, 4. Jarryd Hayne, 5. Brett Morris, 6. James Maloney, 7. Mitchell Pearce, 8. Aaron Woods, 9. Nathan Peats, 10. Andrew Fifita, 11. Josh Jackson, 12. Boyd Cordner (c), 13. Tyson Frizell; Interchange: 14. David Klemmer, 15. Wade Graham, 16. Jake Trbojevic, 17. Jack Bird.
A full report, photos and analysis will feature in next Monday’s edition of League Express.