It’s fairly common knowledge at this point that the NRL season is looking like a two-horse race, with last year’s grand finalists leaps and bounds ahead of every other side.
The NSW Blues have handed the Queensland Maroons an absolutely shocking loss in Townsville after Latrell Mitchell and Tom Trbojevic led the young gun Blues side to a 50-6 win in Game 1 of the 2021 State of Origin series.
I watched this game and as a Blues supporter I was never comfortable during the first 30 minutes of the first half because knowing Queensland they would march a comeback but the Blues continued to pile on the pain as Queensland missed 52 tackles and made 13 errors.
Cameron Munster was put on report for kicking on-debut bench forward Liam Martin in the side of his body and Kyle Feldt was put on report for high contact to second-row forward Cameron Murray. Nathan Cleary had blood spilling out of his head like there was no tomorrow and as always there was the occasional push and shove from both sides.
The Blues debuted three players and they are all from the Panthers, namely Jarome Luai, Brian To’o and Liam Martin. Luai and To’o ran riot against the Queenslanders. The Maroons’ defence looked non-existent.
Brian To’o scored a first-half double. The tries were within eight minutes of each other as Josh Addo-Carr was kept quiet just because of that left-edge attack from the Blues. Centre Latrell Mitchell, who was dropped after Game 1 in the 2019 series, came out and blasted Queensland’s edge defence after setting up two tries and also scoring two tries.
Tom Trbojevic played the same roving-around-the-field tactic in Origin 2 in Perth during the 2019 series in which he scored a hat trick. Against the Maroons in this game he was no different. The Blues’ centre scored a hat trick and had one try assist along with 204 running metres.
Every player in the Blues’ back line ran for over 100 metres with To’o having the most with 220, then fullback James Tedesco with 212, then Trbojevic with 204, then Latrell Mitchell with 177 and finally Josh Addo-Carr had exactly 100.
More Origin 1
» REACTION: Maroons are headed for a 3-0 Blue-wash after insipid Game 1 display
» MAROONS PLAYER RATINGS: Queensland struggle all across the park
» BLUES PLAYER RATINGS: Turbo stars but all NSW players dominate
» All the talking points from State of Origin 1
» AS IT HAPPENED: Game 1 scores, highlights, result and blog
» Team news for NSW and Queensland ahead of Origin 2
Second-row forward Tariq Sims made an error early during the game but soon made that up after throwing an incredible offload to Brian To’o to score in the corner. Blues prop Daniel Saifiti ran over the Maroons’ middle players to score a try with Nathan Cleary having a very good game.
Coming off the bench, Payne Haas ran for 132 metres and made 33 tackles for zero misses. But one thing that could be concerning for the Blues is that Haas and Saifiti were the only forwards who ran for over 100 metres, but the outside backs made up for that.
The Maroons’ back line made nine errors out of the 13 but I was impressed with Moeaki Fotuaika for the Maroons, who came off the bench and made 120 run metres and made 30 tackles. An ambush is coming though at Suncorp for the Blues in a few weeks’ time for Game 2.