New South Wales have defeated Queensland in Game One of the 2014 State of Origin Series by 12-8 in an epic battle in front of 52,111 rugby league fans at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
In what was the concept’s 100th match, the Blues managed to grab victory in Game One at Suncorp Stadium for the first time since 2003, with a titanic defensive effort that saw them repel wave after wave of Maroon attack.
A great charge from Chris McQueen up the middle opened up the Blues defence, putting Queensland in good attacking position early. From the ensuing plays, the Maroons shifted the ball wide out to Darius Boyd who opened the scoring to lead 4-0 just four minutes in.
But the Maroons were dealt a massive blow when halfback Cooper Cronk left the field with a broken arm, bringing Daly Cherry-Evans on to steer the Queenslanders.
The Blues hit back in the 19th minute the Morris twins combined for what would be New South Wales’ first try through the Dragons’ Brett. Trent Hodkinson also missed the conversion attempt leaving the scores at four apiece.
Just minutes later, a penalty to the Blues just 26 metres out, allowed Hodkinson the opportunity to atone for his earlier miss. The Bulldogs half made no mistake to give the Blues the lead 6-4.
Blues five-eighth Josh Reynolds found himself on report in the 28th minute when he flipped Matt Gillett in a dangerous tackle that had all of Suncorp Stadium frothing at the mouth.
New South Wales were dominating the match, and with the Blues enjoying three repeat sets on the Maroon line, Jarryd Hayne produced a moment of brilliance when he broke through three Maroon defenders off the ground to stretch out from an awkward position and score to make it 10-4 to round out the half.
Just two minutes into the second stanza, a penalty to the Blues right in front of the sticks allowed Hodkinson to boot the Blues eight points clear at 12-4.
The tables slowly began to turn in the favour of the home side – the Queenslanders managing to string some determined sets of six together, resulting Darius Boyd’s second try of the night out wide to make it 12-0.
Both sides traded blows furiously as the Maroons continued to stalk the Blues’ line with intent, looking for an opportunity to put themselves ahead. But the Blues’ defence continued to hold strong.
The epic battle raged right up to the final whistle, but the Blues held on to open their Origin account for 2014 by 12-8.
NSW 12 (Brett Morris, Jarryd Hayne tries; Trent Hodkinson 2 goals)
QLD 8 (Darius Boyd 2 tries)
Guler and Murray’s Under 16’s Blues go Down to QLD
The New South Wales under 16’s side including Souths Juniors Emre Guler and Cameron Murray have narrowly gone down 20-18 to Queensland at Suncorp Stadium tonight in front of a building Origin I crowd.
In a tight opening 40, the Blues found themselves going into the break up by 12-8. But right on the resumption, Queensland scored a converted try to take the lead before going on to take the annual match.
With three minutes remaining, New South Wales managed to score to get within two points of the Maroons. But time was against the New South Welshmen as they went down to a determined Queensland outfit.
Both Guler and Murray had the support of their proud families in the crowd.
Queensland 20 (Syd Smith, Jason Chapman, Enari Tuala, Sato Ketia Opo tries; Steven Tatipata 2 goals)
New South Wales 18 (Kurtis Dark, Sione Hopoate, Katoni Staggs tries; Brendan O'Hagan 3 goals)