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The Rock-itt : June 2010
Queensland have drawn first blood in State of Origin 2010 and are just a win away from unprecedented 5th straight series win, with a 28-24 victory over the NSW Blues at ANZ Stadium. Played in dreadful conditions, described as a 'bog' at one point of the game, it was the Maroons' methodical game plan that frustrated the home state out of the game. With Cowboys ace, Jonathan Thurston starring the Blues never looked comfortable with the final score flattering them. Despite the final score going against them, it was the Blues that registered first points. Unlikely last tackle option, Anthony Watmough, sent the ball towards the heavens and on its decline, Cane Toads winger, Darius Boyd, failed to mark the ball and Thurston had just as much trouble collecting the Steeden. These errors gave Jarryd Hayne the chance to dive on the ball to score. Queensland's reply was swift with the two men who committed the earlier errors redeeming themselves in front of just under 70,000 provokial fans. Thurston took the line on and lured in the Blues defence before looping the ball over them to Boyd whose run to the try line was uncontested. Not many 50-50 calls went NSW's way on that wet Wednesday night, but the penalty that allowed Jamie Lyon to extend the Blues tally was one. Referees believed a loose ball dived on by the Maroons was knocked forward by Billy Slater making everyone else offside, although replays suggested otherwise. As halftime loomed, the Blues looked as though they would take a lead into the sheds despite the Maroons looking the more dominant side, that's until Jonathan Thurston again showed a touch of class through a banana kick placed perfectly for Billy Slater who scooped up the ball avoiding some of the tired Blues forwards to score. The Thurston conversion saw Queensland with a 12-8 lead after 40 minutes. NSW needed to recapture the momentum that saw them all over the Queenslanders in the opening 10 minutes but Australian representative trio of Darren Lockyer, Jonathan Thurston, and David Shillington came together to extend Queensland lead to 8 points. A short inside ball from Thurston to the big prop who took the hit, spun and offloaded to Lockyer on the burst who scored. Manly pairing, and New South Wales best on the night, Jamie Lyon and Anthony Watmough got the Blues back into the game in the 57th minute with a fortunate try. On the last tackle, the second receiver chipped the ball into traffic. The ball was battered backwards by Trent Waterhouse and picked up by the man known as 'Choc' who crashed over the line. The Cockroaches hopes of taking a 1-0 series lead were diminished as Queensland piled on two tries in a matter of minutes assuring they would hold the ascendency going into Suncorp Stadium on June 16 for the second instalment. Firstly, it was Greg Inglis who, until his try was having a quiet game, galloped down the field to score. Then it was that man again, Thurston setting up another try, stripping the ball from Kurt Gidley before offloading to Slammin' Sam Thaiday for the try. Jamal Idris breathed some life into the Blues camp with a try in the 72nd minute which gave NSW a glimmer of hope. The 6'4 112kg teenager put the finishing touches on a great play from Jamie 'Killer' Lyon who offloaded inside before being bundled into touch. Ben Creagh grabbed a late consolation try for the Blues who throughout the night were simply outplayed by the classy Maroons line-up. Queensland have won 4 series in a row and on the night showed how, with a line-up consisting of experienced leaders and the best youth talent the game has to offer. Game 2 will be played at Suncorp Stadium on the 16th of June. NSW 24 -Hayne, Creagh, Watmough, Idris tries; Jamie Lyon 4 goals Defeated by QLD 28 -Boyd, Slater, Lockyer, Inglis, Thaiday tries; Jonathan Thurston 4 goals-