Sport

Blues romp to opening Origin win

Blues romp to opening Origin win

For New South Wales, a collective sigh of relief.

Queensland Coach Kevin Walters will not rush into making any drastic changes to his Maroons 17 for Game Two, despite his side being comprehensively beaten 28-4 by the New South Wales Blues at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.

The Blues lost Pearce and Queensland Anthony Milford after some separate heavy contact in the same passage of play 30 minutes from full-time but it in no way slowed the unrelenting momentum of the Blues who fed off the energy of Wade Graham, Jack Bird and David Klemmer.

"The best thing we can have Boyd Cordner do is play well and play to his ability and if he does that, that'll be good enough". It is a rare occasion that the Maroons are dominated on home soil.

It was the 75th minute and the lead was still 24 points.

Mitchell Pearce, who was under enormous pressure to perform after so many losing performances for the Blues, not to mention missing the 2016 series through poor off-field behaviour, made his mark in the first half.

"That hurt", Queensland's Cooper Cronk admitted as he trudged off the field, but you still sensed Queensland could come back.

Leading by a garish 28-4 with 20 minutes to go, they never let Queensland get a toehold in its attempt to claw back into the game. Maloney converted his own try to make it 6-0 to NSW.

No excuses: Cameron Smith after game one loss to NSW at Suncorp Stadium. Pearce repeatedly put up the high ball to test Oates, but the Queensland winger was consistently up to the task.

Instead halfback Cooper Cronk had the responsibility of putting in nearly all of Queensland's kicks and it created a one-dimensional Maroons attack. "He is the type of guy who thrives on these situations and game one is usually fairly physical, played up the middle and not a whole lot of football is played out wide".

In contrast no Queensland forward ran 120m.

Fifita treated the Origin arena like an under-8s carnival in the first 40 minutes, swatting away some of the game's greatest ever players with disdain as he amassed 119 metres with nine tackle busts in 24 minutes of game-time, finishing with 175 metres and a man-of-the-match nod from the Australian selectors that many thought he should have received in the 2016 Grand Final. There would be no Queensland comeback, as NSW crossed over through Pearce just before half-time.

Maloney's conversion gave NSW their eight-point halftime lead.

After the break it was all NSW.

And more of the all-conquering Maroons team will be gone by 2018.

It went straight to Hayne.

In a breathless opening half with hardly a stoppage in play, the Blues struck first when Maloney backed up a surging burst and off-load from Fifita to score under the crossbar in the sixth minute.

However former Blues skipper Daley was adamant Queensland would present a far more challenging opposition with the likely return of champion pair Thurston and Slater. Next it was Hayne.

The first scrum in the match.


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