Never write Queensland off. It was message a lot of NSW Blues - both past and present - had spouted all week.
And they were right. The chant of "Queenslander" that echoed around a soldout Adelaide Oval sparked a stunning Maroons comeback to claim State of Origin I 18-14.
In these COVID-19 times, 25,218 marked a sellout on Wednesday night.
Even NSW patriarch Phil Gould sensed it coming.
"Wayne Bennett [is] the best half-time coach in history ... it's just simple, sustained pressure that's seeing NSW wilt before their eyes," he said on Channel Nine.
It wasn't the perfect start for the Maroons, with centre Brenko Lee (calf) ruled out before kick-off and second-rower Kurt Capewell coming in to take his place.
But Capewell set up the try that sparked Queendland's comeback before Maroons five-eighth Cameron Munster scored what proved to be the winner.
Capewell was unable to last the game, succumbing to a groin injury late in the game.
Munster said he wanted to "own Origin" in the build-up and while he probably didn't do that, he proved crucial in swooping on a loose Daniel Tupou offload to sprint half the field to score.
Boyd Cordner's concussion problems continued with the Blues captain taken off for a head injury assessment in just the 19th minute.
It looked like it would call into question his participation in the rest of the series given his history, but he was able to return - which raised a few eyebrows given he missed seven games due to head knocks this season.
But the Blues did lose his replacement, Cameron Murray, who limped off with a knee problem while Cordner was being assessed.
Maroons prop Josh Papalii did a lot of work early as the banana benders had plenty of early possession.
But they were unable to take advantage of it as they looked a bit disjointed in attack and struggled on some fifth-tackle options in the first half.
After the Maroons had three sets in a row on the Blues' line, NSW were unable to capitalise and went straight up the other end to score.
A Damien Cook grubber ricocheted back into his own hands and he darted over from close range.
Playing on the unfamiliar right wing, Josh Addo-Carr's second attempt was much easier than his first - the Blues winger finishing off a simple overlap after Tedesco injected himself into the attack.
He'd been pushed into touch attempting to score the opener.
That's how it remained until half-time, the Blues leading 10-0 after having the benefit of a strong wind at their back.
But no sooner had a chant of "Queenslander" gone up in the second stanza and the Maroons created something out of nothing.
Capewell produced a nice fend on Clint Gutherson and as he galloped into space, he put in an awkward-but-perfect kick for Maroons fullback AJ Brimson to make it a contest.
Brimson looked lively in his Origin debut as he deputised for the injured Kalyn Ponga (shoulder).
And in the blink of an eye the "home side" were in front.
Maroons centre Dane Gagai broke a Jack Wighton tackle and he was away - before putting his winger Xavier Coates over for a try on debut.
Then Munster extended the lead before Addo-Carr scored his second to set up a grandstand finish.
But they couldn't take advantage of Felise Kaufusi's sin-binning with just 30 seconds remaining.
It sets up a cracking game two in Sydney next Wednesday.
AT A GLANCE
QUEENSLAND MAROONS 18 (AJ Brimson, Xavier Coates, Cameron Munster tries; Daly Cherry-Evans 3 goals) bt NSW BLUES 14 (Josh Addo-Carr 2, Damien Cook tries; Nathan Cleary goal) at Adelaide Oval. Referee: Gerard Sutton. Crowd: 25,218.