Queensland Maroons take the 1-0 lead into Game 2 after their 18-14 win over New South Wales Blues last night in Origin 1.
Game 1 of State of Origin, New South Wales v Queensland, arguably the most anticipated game of the year and for good reason. The game was no letdown itself as it was one of the better Origin matches in recent time. A free-flowing spectacle that showcased the best of rugby league.
The match started as a fast, free-flowing game of football with both sides playing at a fast pace. New South Wales opened the scoring with a penalty goal in the 12th minute. As both sides went end to end it was the Blues who opened the scoring as James Tedesco got on the outside of Cameron Munster to put Josh Morris through for the opener in the 19th minute. The Blues continued to dominate the next few sets off the game. But it was Queensland who created the most opportunities in the closing 10 minutes of the half as Kalyn Ponga and Munster looked to exploit the the Blues right-edge defence. The half-time score saw NSW lead 8-0.
Queensland needed to start the second half well and that is exactly what they did. They improved their ruck defence which nullified the influence of Damien Cook and Tedesco around the ruck. The Maroons scored the first try of the second half in the 52nd minute as Corey Oates crossed for his first of the match which was converted by Ponga. The Maroons continued to pile on the pressure by keeping NSW in their own half and when the opportunity first presented itself for potential points for the blues, Dane Gagai was there to intercept the pass from Jack Wighton in the 66th minute to run the length of the field and score to put the Maroons in front. The winger crossed again 4 minutes later to take the lead out to 10 points. Jake Trbojevic grabbed one back in the 74th minute to reduce the lead to 4 points. The Blues were not able to add to the scoreboard in the final minutes as Queensland took away a deserving win. Queensland 1-0.
Dane Gagai’s incredible Origin record.
Dane Gagai continued to show that he is a try Here’s scoring machine at Origin level with his second half double tonight. He has now scored 11 tries in the same amount of matches and has scored in seven Origin matches.
James Tedesco and Damien Cook are Queensland’s biggest threats.
The two showed the strength of their combination when Queensland’s loose ruck defence was exposed in the first half as the two looked dangerous. This seems to be the main option for NSW dominance in the game, quick play the balls, turn the defence around. Tedesco finished with 267 run metres and 1 try assist whilst Cook with 132 run metres .
Kalyn Ponga brilliance.
The 21-year-old fullback was expected to deliver in Origin 1 and he certainly did. The Newcastle Knight delivered for 154 run metres, 1 line break, 2 try assists, 2 line break assists and 7 tackle breaks. Most impressive of all was that he didn’t play his most natural game and resorted to setting up his teammates with brilliant cut out balls.
Cody Walker the No.6 for Game 2?
Cody Walker didn’t necessarily impress in his State of Origin debut. Playing only 67 minutes and only running the ball on 4 occasions from 33 touches. The Rabbitoh also only kicked the ball 3 times for 74 metres. Not the influential performance that Freddie was looking for tonight. Luke Keary will be a name thrown around to play in the number 6 for Game 2.
Tries: Corey Oates, Dane Gagai (2)
Goals: Kalyn Ponga 3/4
Drop Goals: n/a
New South Wales 14
Tries: Josh Morris, Jake Trbojevic
Goals: Nathan Cleary 3/3
Drop Goals: n/a
Queensland: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Corey Oates 3. Michael Morgan 4. Will Chambers 5. Dane Gagai 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans (c) 8. Jai Arrow 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Matt Gillett 13. Josh McGuire. Interchange: 14. Moses Mbye 15. Joe Ofahengaue 16. Dylan Napa 17. David Fifita
New South Wales: 1. James Tedesco 2. Nick Cotric 3. Latrell Mitchell 4. Josh Morris 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cody Walker 7. Nathan Cleary 8. David Klemmer 9. Damien Cook 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Boyd Cordner (c) 12. Tyson Frizell 13. Jake Trbojevic. Interchange: 14. Jack Wighton 15. Payne Haas 16. Cameron Murray 17. Angus Crichton