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Maroons scrape home
The 2011 State of Origin series kicked off at Suncorp Stadium where the 52,144 crowd saw their home side scrape home to a 16 - 12 victory to continue their state of origin dominance.
The first half saw plenty of momentum swings but some scrappy play as well. In all that, only the one try was scored through Johnathon Thurston in the sixth minute off a perfect boot from Cameron Smith chased by Thurston in goal to get Queensland off to the best of starts. Thurston converted to give Queensland a 6 - 0 lead they took the length of the half into the interval.
Queensland again scored early in the second half with a try to Yow Yeh against the run of play. From there Queensland were camped in the New South Wales red zone earning several repeat sets but failing to convert them to points, Queensland were awarded a penalty but not even a Thurston shot from right in front could get them more than 10 ahead.
Some Queensland errors began to gift New South Wales some opportunites and the visitors took them, their first try came in the 65th minute to halfback Pearce between the posts, Soward with the kicking duties made no mistake, getting New South Wales within a try of Queensland. They then took the lead in the 69th minute through a try to Jennings which was converted by Soward to give New South Wales a 2 point lead.
Queensland would not take the lead standing and lifted in intensity to put he final points of the game on to take the victory. The match winning points came from Thurston getting it on to Locker who through a pass in to Slater to slide over for the match winning points. Thurston added the extras and Queensland defended the total to a 16 - 12 victory.
Queensland 16 defeated New South Wales 12
State of Origin - State of Origin I - Wednesday May 25, 2011 8:00pm
Venue: Suncorp Stadium
Referee: Tony Archer and Jared Maxwell
Video Referee: Tim Mander and Chris Ward
Touch Judges: Steve Carrall and Jeff Younis
Halftime: Queensland 6 New South Wales 0
Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Johnathan Thurston (1 Try, 2 Conversions)
2 Points - Cameron Smith
1 Point - Matthew Scott
Tries: Billy Slater, Johnathan Thurston, Jharal Yow Yeh
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (2/3)
Penalty Goals: Johnathan Thurston (0/1)
NEW SOUTH WALES (12)
Tries: Mitchell Pearce, Michael Jennings
Conversions: Jamie Soward (2/2)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary A very warm welcome to Leagueunlimited's live coverage of the 2011 State of Origin series. We are all geared up for the biggest event on the Rugby League calendar. Ricky Stuart's New South Wales team with it all to prove in this Origin series XXXII after going down for the 5th straight time in 2010 after Queensland's massive clean sweep last year.
NSW with one late change have Dean Young starting in the hooking role pushing Michael Ennis to start the game from the bench. Queensland are as per program.
Paul Gallen leads out the New South Wales team for the first time, could this new captain bring new glory to the Blues?
After making the visitors wait out there for a sufficiently long time, Lockyer finally brings out the Queensland time for his last ever origin series. Suncorp Stadium is buzzing during the national anthem and both sides looking full of energy as kick off looms.
1 min: Jamie Soward kicks off and the 2011 State of Origin series is underway.
2 min: Queensland make it to halfway hitting up hard early before Locky boots it to the goal line.
2 min: King appeared to have dropped it, but the wall was ruled backward. NSW haven't made many metres and Pearce's kick is taken far too easily by Slater.
3 min: Thurston with an attacking bomb to Dugan, an excellent chase from Queensland has Boyd collect him upon catching the ball.
5 min: Queensland dominating play early with the game being played in NSW territory now, NSW not making the metres to make it out of their danger zone and Queensland putting real pressure on with the ball in hand.
7 min: TRY
TRY to Queensland! Smith puts in a perfect little kick Thurston goes in to tap it down, but misses with his first attempt before touching it down for a TRY between the posts. Thurston easily converts his owen try.
8 min: PENALTY! First penalty of the night to Queensland, against Mitchell Pearce, helping put Queensland right back on the attack.
9 min: Thurston with a creative play, well read by Jennings to take it off him and NSW earn a scrum 10 out from their own line.
10 min: NSW make it past halfway creating something on the left side, Jennings makes a break but is collected by Neilson and put over the sideline.
12 min: Thurston with a high bomb to Dugan on debut in the number 1 jersey, Dugan collects it beautifully.
13 min: Blues starting to look better with ball in hand, starting to fight for this game.
14 min: Thurston puts in a deft grubber 20 out from the New South Wales line which forces Uate to kick it out the dead ball line and give Queensland a repeat set through a line drop out.
15 min: Beautiful passage of play from Queensland hands moving the ball, well read by the NSW defence who handle it well to reclaim the ball.
17 min: Queensland continuing to target Dugan in the air but Dugan having a great night in the air.
18 min: Queensland lose the ball and NSW see some good field position.
19 min: New South Wales chancing their hand with their first real opportunity hand the ball back with a fumble tuened forward pass.
21 min: New South Wales starting to own the field postion and starting to take some control of the game.
22 min: And they hand it over cheaply with a dropped ball from Uate.
23 min: Queensland make the most of their possession earning a repeat set collecting Uate with the ball in goal.
24 min: Thurston's boot perfect tonight finds Boyd on the opposite edge of the field who threows it in, Soward going for an intercept hits it to the touch judge and Queensland are given a scrum ten metres out.
25 min: Thurston loses the ball and there is a bit of niggle between the sides.
26 min: Far too much time being taken by the scrum...
27 min: PENALTY to New South Wales to piggy back them to halfway.
28 min: Good set from the Blues finding space on Queensland's left flank, but their raid is ended by a drop from Ennis.
29 min: Queensland with a soft set is ended softly by a knock on from Lilyman on halfway to invite the Blues to attack.
31 min: New South Wales threatening, but the last tackle option a little uninspired from Soward with his boot taken cleanly in goal by Boyd for a Queensland 20 metre restart.
32 min: Queensland with a lot of energy in that set making it down the field and following it with an excellent kick chase.
33 min: Blues looking a little silences, struggling when in their own territory.
34 min: Queensland again dominating the field positions, Blues' backline working very hard though, Brett Morris makes a superb mark, almost breaking though before being stopped by a Lockyer tackle.
34 min: Slater watches a boot tricle over the sideline to get a scrum.
36 min: Queensland lose the ball giving New South Wales some great field position and an excellent opportunity late in the half.
37 min: New South Wales threatening the line with every play but some superb defence from Queensland holding them out.
38 min: Queensland now struggling to make it out of their own half, but a huge boot from Lockyer although superbly taken by Dugan, forced to work it out from his goal line.
40 min: The hooter blows and signals the end to the first half as players run toward the sheds for a breather.
41 min: Time back on! Thurston kicks off to get the second half's play underway.
41 min: Pearce collects the kick off and is ruled to have passed it forward, giving Queensland a scrum 10 out.
42 min: Short boot by Thurston marked in goal by Uate to give NSW a 20 metre tap.
43 min: Good set from Queensland and a smart kick from Pearce but it can't be cleanly taken by Gasnier.
44 min: Uate having a handy little period at the back, threatening to break the Queensland line with each second half touch.
45 min: Pearce gifts the ball to Queensland defenders.
48 min: TRY
TRY to Queensland! Cronk put a kick in behind, Yow Yeh goes after it and scores in the cornner. Thurston with the conversion attempt bends it too much.
50 min: Queensland starting to go into cruise control but we are starting to see some big hits here.
53 min: Dugan with his first mistake at the back, Thurston forces a play at the ball with a perfect grubber and earns a scrum for his side.
55 min: Queensland looked certain to score with a few good attacking plays, but Soward saves the try before Dugan collects the ball before being collected himself in goal.
57 min: Lockyer chips toward the goal, well collected by Gallen before he almost makes a meal of it passing to no one before Dugan comes in to save the pass, but Queensland manage to force another drop out collecting him in goal.
58 min: Dugan's hands are again involved in a forced line drop out.
60 min: PENALTY GOAL ATTEMPT
PENALTY aganst the Blues and Queensland opt for the two but Thurston misses from right in front.
62 min: New South Wales getting some help from Queensland now through error.
64 min: Jennings finds a hole before being superbly taken by Slater and losing the ball.
65 min: Queensland gift the ball back to New South Wales handing them a good opportunity.
66 min: TRY
TRY to New South Wales! Ennis from dummy half and Bird finds a hole before giving the ball to Pearce in support to score between the posts. Soward converts easily.
68 min: Blues starting to dominate the play, looks like they're believing they can take this.
70 min: TRY
TRY to New South Wales! Another set move from the Blues, Gallen gives it to Dugan who puts Jennings through a hole in Queensland's left flank defence to score. Soward converts to put New South Wales in front.
New South Wales 12-10
72 min: We are now seeing the more intensity than any point thusfar in the game.
74 min: TRY
TRY to Queensland! Thurston to Lockyer inside to Slater who slides through to score. Thurston makes no mistake with the boot this time and the Cane Toads are back in front.
76 min: The Suncorp Stadium crowd is creating a wonderful atmosphere willing the Queensland side home.
77 min: Perfect play from Thurston's boot traps New South Wales in goal to force another line drop out after a superb tackle in goal from Slater.
79 min: New South Wales do well to clean up a Thurston grubber and earn a final roll of the dice.
80 min: Gasnier loses the ball getting up for the play the ball.
80 min: The Queensland faithful countdown to full time and the hooter seals the game, Queensland taking it out 16 - 12.