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Queensland win Origin opener



Queensland has made a superb start to the 2022 state of origin series, defeating New South Wales 16-10 in enemy territory at Accor Stadium on Wednesday.


The Maroons led 16-4 with eight minutes to play before a Cameron Murray try gave the Blues the chance to force golden point.


Isiah Yeo was tackled on the last play of the game only metres from the New South Wales try line, ending a pulsating contest in front of more than 80,000 fans.


Back in front of their home fans for the first time since the second game two years ago, the Blues drew first blood with a slick move out to the left for Jack Wighton to power through some retreating defence.


On the other side, the Maroons lost left winger Xavier Coates to a nasty ankle injury, after he got it trapped under former Broncos teammate Kotoni Staggs on a trademark charge.


The reshuffled Maroons instead went right for their first try, with a Kalyn Ponga bounce pass sending debutant Selwyn Cobbo down the wing, and he grubbered back in-field for Dane Gagai to score his 12th Origin try.


With Queensland leading 6-4 at half time it was first year Origin coach Billy Slater's side that came out firing after the break, captain Daly Cherry-Evans and Valentine Holmes running in tries to put the visitors up by 12 points with 25 minutes to play.


The tiring Blues finally got a look at the attacking end of the field thanks to a rare penalty, and made it count, with Jarome Luai sending Cameron Murray over in the 72nd minute.


But the Maroons held on for the final minutes, with Felise Kaufusi and Ponga making the vital final tackle of the game to stop Isaah Yeo under the posts in the final seconds.


Cameron Munster was player of the match for Queensland, making many crucial line breaks and having a telling impact on the game.


Game two is in Perth on Sunday June 26th, played at Optus Stadium.


IMAGE: Zero Tackle.