New South Wales beat Queensland in State of Origin opener

New South Wales celebrate
New South Wales celebrate

New South Wales started a new era in State of Origin with a 22-12 win over Queensland in a bruising encounter in front of 87,122 fans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Tries from James Tedesco, Latrell Mitchell, Tom Trbojevic and Josh Addo-Carr ensured the Blues, who fielded 11 debutants, drew first blood in the three-match series.

Queensland have dominated in recent years, winning 11 of the last 12 series, but a much-changed side missing the likes of Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Billy Slater came up just short.

Brad Fittler's team, despite all their inexperience, warmed to the task and moved into an 8-0 lead after 21 minutes.

James Maloney kicked a penalty in front of the posts before Tedesco finished off a fine flowing move which started with Damien Cook's lightning break from dummy half.

But Queensland were gifted a way back into the match six minutes later when Valentine Holmes intercepted a loose pass and raced the length of the field.

The Maroons took the lead for the first time in the match two minutes into the second half, moving 12-8 ahead, after Dane Gagai grounded Ben Hunt's grubber kick in the corner.

Yet the Blues responded in emphatic fashion with two tries in three minutes.

Mitchell barged his way over from close range, levelling the scores, and then Trbojevic plucked a high kick out of the air ahead of Holmes to touch down in the corner.

Maloney's second conversion put New South Wales six points in front before Addo-Carr made the game safe 12 minutes from time, fending off a defender and producing a classy finish in the corner.

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