Queensland edge Origin opener


Dane Gagai's second try in as many State of Origin games gave Queensland a 6-4 victory over New South Wales in the first game of the series at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday.

Gagai scored in the Maroons' hammering of the Blues which sealed the series last July and the Newcastle Knights wing came up with a decisive try late in the first half to settle a scrappy encounter in Sydney and put Kevin Walters' side 1-0 up.

Boyd Cordner put the Blues in front with his first Origin try after Johnathan Thurston had opened the scoring with a penalty, but Adam Reynolds failed to convert and that proved to be costly.

Centre Josh Morris had a try ruled out 15 minutes from time when he was deemed to be short of the line by the bunker after it was initially given on a frustrating night for Blues.

Queensland have won nine of the last 10 Origin series' and can continue their dominance by coming out on top in game two at Suncorp Stadium in three weeks' time.

Queensland started on the front foot, but the Blues were resolute in defence and frustrated the holders until Matt Gillett was held down on the ground to allow Thurston to open the scoring with a simple penalty.

Matt Moylan was alert to the danger when Cooper Cronk launched an up and under and the Blues were rewarded for a spell of pressure when Cordner was on hand to score the first try.

James Maloney took advantage of indecisive defending from Cronk, passed fit after recovering from an ankle injury, as he ran to the line and whipped a pass to enable onrushing second-rower Cordner to crash over 25 minutes in.

Reynolds missed the conversion and the Maroons took a 6-4 late in the first half when Gagai dived over in the right corner after Cronk and Thurston, who failed to add the extras, had combined superbly.

Not for the first time tempers flared after Gagai was tackled into touch when the Newcastle Knights winger looked set to score another try early in the second half.

A boisterous crowd let their feeling be known when the Bunker ruled that Morris had failed to get the ball over 15 minutes from time after the try was initially awarded and Queensland hung on for a tense victory.