The New South Wales Blues have kicked off what could be the start of a new era for the state with a thrilling 12 – 8 victory over eight-straight series winners the Queensland Maroons at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night despite a host of injuries and a hostile sunshine state crowd against them in the 2014 Holden State Of Origin opener.
Game 1 Results
- Suncorp Stadium 28/05/2014
- New South Wales (12) beat Queensland (8)
- Crowd: 52,111
- NSW Try Scorers: Brett Morris, Jarryd Hayne
- NSW Goals: Trent Hodkinson (2)
- QLD Try Scorers: Darius Boyd (2)
- Half-Time Result: 10-4 NSW
- Penalties: 7-4 QLD
- Man Of The Match: Jarryd Hayne (NSW)
The Mal Meninga-coached Queenslanders were red hot favourites in the State Of Origin betting markets for the 2014 season opener, but got rolled by just four points in front of a big home crowd that got to 52,111 supporters there to watch the 100th clash between the two states.
Jarryd Hayne was crowned Man Of The Match in Origin Game 1
They were a vocal bunch too but the cheering that kicked off when the Maroons posted first points thanks to winger Darius Boyd getting over for his first of two four-pointers in the fourth minute, became more and more desperate as victory slipped away from them.
Despite the close margin it was the underdogs that came away with first bragging rights in the three game series, New South Wales hanging on in a brilliant defensive effort even with calls going against them in the final five minutes.
Queensland came out firing and held the advantage early, but the tides quickly turned after they lost ace halfback Cooper Cronk to a suspected broken arm only 10 minutes in.
With one of their crucial vertebra removed, Daly Cherry-Evans coming off the bench to replace Cronk but never really gelling in the halves, the Maroons backbone weakened and things began to crumble.
By half time the Blues led 10-4 thanks to tries from Brett Morris who dislocated his shoulder in the try and Hayne, and scored their final two points in a penalty goal in the 43rd minute.
Queensland came for them with plenty of sets of six in the second half, but they got over just once more with Boyd over again in the 56th minute.
The boos coming from the sea of Maroon only further ignited the Blues’ desire and their winning effort was led by star fullback Jarryd Hayne.
NSW coach Laurie Daley opted for Hayne in the No. 1 sky blue jersey over Josh Dugan and it proved the winning selection with Hayne putting in a genuine once in a lifetime effort.
Queensland are now the $3.20 outsiders to win the overall 2014 State Of Origin series at Ladbrokes.com.au
He was everywhere he needed to be and never put a foot wrong all night.
Queensland fullback Billy Slater also played well in what was probably the best individual performance from the club, but it wasn’t enough to stop the interstate raiders.
While Slater was spot on many of Queensland’s other crucial players had off nights especially five-eight Johnathan Thurston who had a poor night all round.
He dropped off tackles and failed to fire on the boot, missing both conversions with those four points the margin at fulltime.
And skipper Cameron Smith started to show his age sporting a sore right ankle that needed strapping for most of the second half.
That’s not to say Queensland didn’t turn up at all.
Boyd, who turned out to score all of his team’s eight points, was also good taking his total number of Origin tries to 14th which is second on the all-time tally.
New South Wales were better though and the new halves pairing of Josh Reynolds and Trent Hodkinson from the Bulldogs bought real form to the side.
Reynolds didn’t escape the battle without some controversy however and will be nervously awaiting a punishment for a nasty lifting tackle on Brent Tate 10 minutes before the break.
Queensland have now lost favouritism in the State Of Origin Game 2 odds and are $2.08 outsiders over New South Wales $1.72 with the second match held in Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday June 18.
They are also roughies in the overall 2014 State Of Origin series markets out to $3.20 while the Blues are into $1.35 to win their first series in nine years.
To get behind your state at the best prices ahead of game two, head to Ladbrokes.com.au!