NSW feels the Blues. Again
Queensland benefited from some dubious refereeing to take Game 1 in the Origin series 18-10 in Melbourne. Photo: Getty Images
The try that sealed it might have been ridiculous, but so too is Queensland's remarkable ability to claw out a State of Origin win.
The Maroons wrapped up the opening match - which featured an all-in brawl, a sin binning and contentious refereeing - with a late try that took three minutes for the video official Sean Hampstead to award and prompted an outburst from a frustrated NSW captain Paul Gallen.
''How the hell is that a try? This is out of control - this is ridiculous,'' Gallen wailed to the referee as Johnathan Thurston lined up the conversion which gave Queensland an 18-10 win and the edge as they bid for a seventh straight series triumph.
The controversy shouldn't overshadow the treat that was served up to the crowd of 56,021 at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
It's been a recurring theme in the past half dozen years. NSW gives it a real crack, but just cannot withstand the relentless Queensland brilliance.
NSW dominated the first 20 minutes of the match and much of the second half, but the Queenslanders will never lie down.
An old-fashioned State of Origin brawl altered the complexion of the match as NSW led 4-0 halfway through the first half, but went a man down when Michael Jennings was sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.
His fruitless flying haymaker enabled Queensland to take advantage of their extra man as Darius Boyd crossed out wide for the first of his two tries as the Maroons went into half-time 12-4 ahead.
Jennings made amends when he scored while Melbourne's corporate heavies were finishing their half-time dessert, when he picked up the spillage from a Billy Slater fumble under a high ball and put NSW back in the game at 12-10. Queensland withstood NSW's repeated barrages and killed off the Blues' hopes with seven minutes left when Greg Inglis dived on a loose ball that looked like he might have knocked on or which could have come off Robbie Farah's foot. After a long time looking at many angles, Hampstead saw it Queensland's way and, whatever Gallen thinks of it, the Maroons are 1-0 up and their dominance continues.