State of Origin opener pulls in huge ratings for Nine

"If we don't win this game it's another series to Queensland", said Chris Boulous of the first State of Origin match.

And it was the first time NSW had won a series opener since 2014 - the previous year the Blues won the Origin trophy.

One Maroons official joked to AFL.com.au, "He (Beveridge) is never welcome back mate, because we lost".

Fresh off missing a combined 58 tackles as a team and being thoroughly outplayed Origin I, Queensland skipper Cameron Smith pulled no punches.

Queensland coach Kevin Walters isn't so sure but NSW coach Laurie Daley is adamant that both star players could be back to haunt the Blues as they try to wrap up there series.

"This is what you live for - big games like these", Fifita said.

WESTERN Bulldogs premiership coach Luke Beveridge has spent the past few days embedded with Queensland's State of Origin rugby league team.

Tedesco reached out to score seven minutes from halftime but fumbled the ball through a try-saving tackle by Boyd.

In the early exchanges of the second half, NSW transformed a dominant start into a unassailable lead when Fifita and Tedesco crossed.

Just as some Hayne brilliance looked to have set up a second try-scoring opportunity for NSW, Queensland climbed off the canvas to land a blow of their own, a Cooper Cronk cross-field kick plucked out of the Brisbane sky by a soaring Oates to reduce the deficit to just two points.

THE endearing spirit of big Artie lives on in State of Origin.

Eight NSW players ran for more than 100 metres.

The booming lyrics to Birds of Tokyo's smash hit "Empire" reverberated throughout Suncorp Stadium long after they left the stage on Wednesday night.

New South Wales can secure only its second series victory since 2006 if it beats the Maroons at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney on June 21.

Myles - playing his 32nd Origin match - was expected to step up in the absence of Test front-rower Matt Scott despite not being able to make Manly's starting side.

Speaking before the deadline had passed, Hayne said: "I'll have a couple more beers and see how we go, hey?"

For Queensland, Smith and Cronk played well while Darius Boyd schemed away all over the ground in a display which emphasised why selectors picked him over stalwart Billy Slater. "I'm sure that we'll bounce back and make a contest of it".

He certainly played like a man at peace with himself, contributing to the Blues' second-half pile-on of tries with a sizzling run down the left.

"I thought in the first half we competed really well, but there were some telling signs", he said.

"I'm excited. My wife is at home, she can't get on a plane, she can't travel, she's that far pregnant", Fifita said.

On Wednesday, the Blues voided both the Maroons' mortgages and now they'll feel invincible and look nearly impossible to rein in.

"I think everybody acknowledges he's the best defensive fullback, and perhaps Queensland aren't as loose through the middle".

"I knew when I got close to the line how special it would be to go and celebrate with them".

  • Joanne Flowers