Queensland have taken first blood in State of Origin 2010 – with the away side plundering the Blues in front of 70,000 at ANZ Stadium.

It was cold, wet and windy – with many expecting a low scoring game.

But as always, Queensland weathered the early storm to dominate in the middle and backend of the game to seal a 28-24 win.

The score doesn’t indicate the game, Queensland were much better than NSW – with two late tries to the Blues patching things up slightly.

Even with a 75 percent fit Jonathan Thurston, an aging Darren Lockyer and no Cameron Smith, Pirce, Hannant or Hodges – the Maroons were still almost unstoppable.

They should be immortals this mob.

JT was at his scheming best, Inglis created plenty of chances out wide and Billy Slater was superb in horrible conditions.

It is a testament to the skill level of these players given the amount of points scored in such wet, muddy conditions.

As predicted before the game, for NSW to win – they needed a few bounces to go their way. It didn’t happen for them tonight – Matt Cooper’s hands let the side down badly at least twice.

Jarryd Hayne selected out of position was struggling with his defensive structure on the wing and as the commentators said – so often the NSW players look for someone else to make the miracle player.

Queensland in Lockyer, Thurston and Slater – have talented guys with supreme mental strength. They love the clutch at the back end of the game – they WANT the ball and no exactly what needs to be done.

All too often NSW panic and resort to poor decisions, early kicks in attack or passing instead of going to the line.

Pressure tells.

While Queensland will be licking their lips at Game 2 in Brisbane, as always the NSW selectors will go into panic mode and make massive changes to the side.

Apart from Lyon and Hayne being selected out of position (a mistake on both parts) the only real change should be a forced one with Matt Cooper obviously not looking likely to be fit for Game 2.

If unfit, shift Lyon to the centres and bring in Todd Carney.

Queensland would be stoked with the form of forwards David Shillington and Nate Myles, both worked tirelessly and got some quality offloads away in tough traffic.

With Price and Hannant gone, the Maroons needed someone to answer the call and their new forwards did.

Referees Hayne and Archer had a tough night at the office, getting several calls wrong – going against both sides at various stages. However the wet track made the ruck area a nightmare and some lattitude should be allowed here.

Idris made a good first up showing for NSW and will no doubt be better for the run – his impact when introduced was amazing – the young buck smashing through would-be tacklers and sending big man Petero Civoniceva flying backwards.

The Queenslanders remain the absolute premier State of Origin Rugby League team – and with NSW staring down the barrell of a 5th straight lost series, the close battle fought every year is in danger of becoming a 1 horse race.

Now, will NSW be favourites again when they travel to Queensland? How in the world bookies posted them as favourites many will never know. They been on the losing side of the ledger for 4 years – yet remain favourites before most Origin games?

Ok, it’s off to Brisbane for First Blood: Part 2

By ricky

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