The New South Wales Blues have put together a second-half masterclass to dominate the Queensland Maroons 50-6 in a record-breaking Origin win.
The 44-point margin is New South Wales’ biggest ever, surpassing the 56-16 obliteration in 2000.
Tom Trbojevic became the first player to score two hat tricks in State of Origin after his three-try effort, Latrell Mitchell and Brian To’o both crossed twice, while Nathan Cleary was a perfect eight for eight kicking for goal.
Queensland had a late push in the first half that culminated with a Kurt Capewell try but, in reality, they never looked up to the level of their highly-fancied opponents and were left to rue missing 52 tackles and making 13 errors.
They will have a lot of soul searching to do ahead of Game 2 on June 27.
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The Blues dominated the first half, racing to a 20-0 lead courtesy of a double on debut to To’o after Trbojevic broke the deadlock just before the 20-minute mark.
Trbojevic was all over the Maroons early and drew an early penalty after Daly Cherry-Evans shepherded his run to a kick – which gave the visitors an early 2-0 lead.
Christian Welch put the Maroons a man down a few minutes later following a head clash with To’o that saw him fail the subsequent head injury assessment.
The Maroons actually had one of the best early chances to score the first try after being awarded a set restart deep in Blues territory, but Cam Munster didn’t hear the call and kicked on the first tackle.
The Blues punished them after a silly Kyle Feldt penalty soon after, with a superb Cleary ball releasing Trbojevic for a nice first try.
A superb Damien Cook run through the middle of the Maroons defence set up To’o’s first try in the corner, with the Origin debutant crossing again soon after thanks to a superb offload by Tariq Sims.
The Maroons struck back closer to half time thanks to a miscue by Trbojevic, however. He was caught badly out of position on a pass to the sideline and then laid a fairly poor tackle on Capewell – allowing the forward-turned-centre to score.
That made the score 20-6 at the break, but any momentum the Maroons hoped to carry into the sheds was dissipated soon after.
Trbojevic atoned for his earlier error with a ripping grubber close to the line that gave Mitchell his first try, extending the visitors’ lead to 26-6.
Jarome Luai had the best moment of his Origin debut close to the hour mark, with a great dummy on Felise Kaufusi releasing him up the middle of the ground and two passes later it was in the the hands of Trbojevic for try number two.
It was well and truly party time by that point after Xavier Coates completely bungled a high ball from Cleary, allowing Mitchell to pounce for his second try of the night. Daniel Saifiti then scored a soft try to help the Blues break the 40-point barrier with 15 minutes still to play.
The Blues then turned it on for the flashiest try of the night, with Cleary breaking the line with a superb dummy and passing off to James Tedesco, with the fullback then gifting Trbojevic his second Origin hat trick with a sublime flick pass.
Queensland Maroons – 6
NSW Blues – 50
Maroons: Capewell 35′
Blues: T. Trbojevic 18′, 59′, 69′, To’o 23′, 27′, Mitchell 49′, 61′, Saifiti 64′
Maroons: Holmes 1/1 36′
Blues: Cleary 8/8 10′, 20′, 29′, 51′, 60′, 62′, 66′, 70′, Mitchell 1/1 24′