State of Origin 2012 Game 1: Key moments
A brawl erupts during the first half of State of Origin 1 between Queensland and New South Wales at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. (AAP Image/Julian Smith)
The key moments of State of Origin 2012 Game 1:
It was an eventful opening half for this year’s Origin series. The Maroons took a 12-4 lead, and were like a steam train – slow to get going but very tough to stop once underway.
Kickoff by QLD – Paul Gallen took the first hit up for the NSW Blues, Maroons don’t monster him too much.
6m TRY Uate! NSW lead 4-0. The opening play has been dominated by NSW and on the last tackle, Robbie Farah puts up a high ball. The ball falls to a contest between Knights teammates Uate and Boyd, and it bounces off Boyd in the air before it rebounds off Uate’s back, who managed to pluck it from the air and dive over the line for a try!
Video referee Sean Hampsted took a long look at it but eventually awards the try and NSW open the scoring. Todd Carney tries the conversion but it’s a woeful kick, never troubling the posts. NSW 4-0 – Listen to Uate’s try here.
20m BIFFO! A penalty to Queensland after a soft penalty for a highshot saw the Maroons grab Greg Bird – three or four of them surround him. The Blues fly in to ‘separate’ the pair and suddenly its an all-in, punches being thrown. Replays show Michael Jennings scoring a big right on Brent Tate as a (very) late man in. The video ref advises the referees and Jennings is sent to the bin for 10 minutes! It’s 12 vs 13. Controversial call – players were throwing punches everywhere.
27m TRY BOYD! QLD are 4-4 on the back of a penalty. The ball is spread left, Slater throws the last tight no-look pass to Boyd who just has to get the ball down in the corner and it’s 4-4, kick to come. Thurston bends the ball around the post and Queensland lead after 28 minutes: QLD 6-4 NSW – Listen to Boyd’s try here.
39m TRY BOYD! That’s two! 10-4 to Queensland. The Maroons spread it down the left, with Johnnathan Thurston drawing defenders and Boyd gets the ball virtually untouched on the wing to put it down over the line. Thurston gets the chance to put QLD in front by 8 from virtually the same spot and he converts again. QLD 12-4 at halftime. – Listen to Boyd’s second try here.
Halftime – Queensland 12 New South Wales 4
42m TRY JENNINGS! Mistake from Billy Slater! Slater has looked in all sorts under the high ball all night and he juggles it under contest from Hayne – Jennings pounces as the ball comes out and scores! Redemption for Jennings? Carney adds the extras and suddenly QLD lead by just two. QLD 12-10 NSW. Listen to Jennings’ try here.
47m QLD make a bust down the right and plenty of support players are in motion for the Maroons but Thaiday is tackled strongly and he loses it. Let off for the Blues there – QLD were lining up.
51m Penalty to NSW. The Blues look to take the points! Surprising decision – Ricky Stuart did not look pleased, it’s 40m out and off-centre. Kick wasn’t on target – poor decision for NSW. QLD looked to be under big pressure and they get a let off.
59m TRY B. STEWART? NSW work the ball up the left, Cooper Cronk rushes up and Mitchell Pearce works the ball up through the line and works a ball out to Jennings who puts the foot down. Jennings puts through a grubber and it’s contested by Sam Thaiday who is there firs,t but Brett Stewart grabs the ball and thinks it’s a try – close one. Video replays shows that Thaiday has grounded the ball, so it’s a drop out. No try. Still QLD 12 – NSW 10.
THE KEY MOMENT OF THE GAME: 72m TRY Inglis? Amazing moment after a high bomb. The ball falls to Inglis who is virtually unmarked and he grabs the ball and puts it down. But Robbie Farah gets his foot in the way and Inglis drops it.
The video referee has a look, a long look. Farah’s foot gets in the way – does he deliberately and dangerously play at the ball? It’s a line ball decision and it’s called a TRY! Controversial!
Paul Gallen blows up and the referees can’t explain it. Thurston converts a simple kick and Queensland are eight in front with just minutes to go. QLD 18 NSW 10. That’s the game for Queensland!
Relive all the action here in our State of Origin 2012 Game 1 Live blog and commentary.
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Video produced by Riordan Lee.