Blues dominate Origin opener
New South Wales has thrashed hapless Queensland outfit 50-6 in game one of the State of Origin series at Townsville on Wednesday night.
Blues star Tom Trbojevic scored a hat trick of tries in the stunning win in front of 27,533 people at Queensland Country Bank Stadium on Wednesday night, giving the Blues an early stranglehold on the series.
NSW coach Brad Fittler went with youth and it paid dividends, with the likes of Jarome Luai, Tom Trbojevic, Brian To’o, and Latrell Mitchell some of the best players on the field as they tore Queensland’s defence apart.
Three first-half tries in nine blistering minutes set up the Blues' biggest winning margin in Origin history – their 44-point thumping trumping the famous 'hand grenade' 56-16 victory of 2000.
While Trbojevic roamed wherever he pleased – from left to right, first receiver to edge finisher Latrell Mitchell produced the moments that mattered most when the game was still alive as a contest in front of a pro Queensland crowd.
The night started badly for the Maroons when prop Christian Welch went off in the 12th minute and did not return for the remainder of the match after failing a HIA.
Within the next 10 minutes, the Blues claimed the first points of the night when Cleary kicked a penalty goal, after Maroons skipper Daly Cherry-Evans was ruled to have taken out Trbojevic a metre away from Queensland's tryline as he tried to catch a Cleary kick.
Five minutes later the Cleary-Trbojevic combination paid off when a deep pass from Cleary exploited a Queensland defence that had eyes for a sweeping James Tedesco, instead finding Trbojevic, who skipped past makeshift centre Kurt Capewell to score.
With momentum well and truly behind them NSW kept the points coming with winger Brian To'o scoring on debut in the 21st minute.
To'o's try came off the back of a Damien Cook break through the middle, which gave NSW an opportunity to simply pass through the hands from Luai to Mitchell onto To'o in the left corner.
One try wasn't enough for the Blues debutante who went back-to-back in the 26th minute when back rower Tariq Sims launched an offload 10 metres across the face of Mitchell to To'o, to take the score to 20-0.
The Maroons' time finally arrived in the 34th minute when Cameron Munster sent an early ball to Capewell who got revenge on Trbojevic with a tricky show and go for the Maroons to head into half-time trailing 20-6.
Mitchell opened the scoring in the second half after Luai fired a long ball to Trbojevic, who put in a short grubber for Mitchell to scoop up and place down without any pressure from Queensland.
A beautiful Blues team try shortly followed in the 58th minute when Luai again created something out of nothing as he ran across the field to find space in between Cherry-Evans and Felise Kaufusi.
Mitchell was in support on the inside before he passed it to Trbojevic, who would dive in under the sticks.
Two minutes later, Mitchell scored his second of the night to take the Blues to a 38-6 lead.
The try was sent to The Bunker and NSW forward Payne Haas was offside but ruled to be passive in the play, therefore not impacting it when Queensland winger Xavier Coates dropped the bomb, allowing Mitchell's second.
Blues prop Daniel Saifiti crashed over in 63rd minute before Trbojevic finished with a hat-trick to cap off a remarkable return to state of origin football, giving the Blues an early position of dominance in the best of three match series.
Game two will be played on 27th June at Suncorp Stadium.