The New South Wales Blues have taken an 8-0 lead into half-time of Origin 1 following an entertaining, end-to-end first 40 minutes.
It was the Blues who opened the scoring, Nathan Cleary slotting a simple penalty from next to the left-hand upright in the 13th minute.
Queensland, though, fashioned the first two try-scoring opportunities, first when Will Chambers broke down the right-hand side only for Dane Gagai to be denied by a superb Josh Addo-Carr tackle, and then the following phase when Corey Oates had his boot on the touchline before touching down in the opposite corner.
Maroon hearts were in mouths at the end of the next set, when Cameron Munster only just grounded the ball in goal before Tyson Frizell. The first try followed not long after, Josh Morris bursting over after some excellent build-up play from Cleary and James Tedesco.
The game really opened up following that six-pointer, both sides threatening before Queensland thought they’d scored again. This time it was Dylan Napa who thought he’d crossed for a four-pointer, only for the Bunker to rule the prop had knocked the ball on following an excellent kick from Daly Cherry-Evans which hit the post.
The Maroons again looked to have a try in the offing not long after, but Chambers was brought down by Addo-Carr and Tedesco just metres from the line after Munster had broken through the Blues’ left-hand defence.
With four minutes to go until the break, Ben Hunt, who’d been exposed in defence playing out of position at hooker, earned his side excellent field position with a near-40-20 which went out off Tedesco. But the Maroons couldn’t turn it into points, and the score remained 8-0 at half-time.