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Cameron Murray drags New South Wales within ONE TRY of Queensland after Valentine Holmes and Daly Cherry-Evans gave Maroons breathing space in sensational State of Origin Game One

  • New South Wales drew first blood in State of Origin Game One in Sydney 
  • Jack Wighton went over after breaking through Queensland’s dogged defence 
  • It was a frenetic opening 15 minutes with both sides playing at breakneck speed 
  • Selwyn Cobbo proved the hype is real by teeing up Dane Gagai before half time 
  • Daly-Cherry Evans and Valentine Holmes scored a quickfire double for QLD
  • Cameron Murray gave New South Wales hope with a try in the final 10 minutes 

Cameron Murray has given New South Wales hope of salvaging a result against Queensland with the Blues knocking on the door in Origin Game One. 

Daly Cherry-Evans and Valentine Holmes gave Queensland breathing space in their crunch clash against New South Wales after the Maroons pair coasted through a lacklustre defence to score a quickfire double. 

With the game on a knife edge in Sydney, the Manly Sea Eagles veteran made the most of a dazzling Cameron Munster carry to split the Blues defence open and extend his side’s advantage to eight points. 

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Tariq Sims and James Tedesco will have a lot of explaining to do in the sheds, though, after being bamboozled by a simple sidestep before Cherry-Evans went over. 

Holmes went over just moments later after quick hands from the Maroons saw the halfback break through. However, he shanked his conversion well wide of the posts – a kick that Billy Slater’s side may rue should the Blues mount a comeback,

Yet Murray scored against the run of play to bring his side within a try and conversion of levelling the scores with the game on a knife edge in front of 80.512 fans at Accor Stadium. 

Queensland hit back against New South Wales thanks to some Selwyn Cobbo kicking magic

Queensland hit back against New South Wales thanks to some Selwyn Cobbo kicking magic

The 20-year-old teed up Dane Gagai with a sublime grubber kick to put the Maroons in front

The 20-year-old teed up Dane Gagai with a sublime grubber kick to put the Maroons in front

New South Wales drew first blood against Queensland as Jack Wighton broke the deadlock

New South Wales drew first blood against Queensland as Jack Wighton broke the deadlock

The Canberra Raiders star stormed through the Maroons' dogged defence to open the scoring

The Canberra Raiders star stormed through the Maroons’ dogged defence to open the scoring

New South Wales star's Wighton and Nathan Cleary celebrate after going in front in Sydney

New South Wales star’s Wighton and Nathan Cleary celebrate after going in front in Sydney

Selywn Cobbo proved the hype is very much real after the Broncos gun showcased his magic on his Origin debut for the Maroons. 

The 20-year-old jet was greeted with a crunching welcome to NRL’s biggest rivalry after being dragged from the field of play by four players when he first touched the ball in Sydney.

Yet Brad Fittler’s Blues stood no chance of keeping the winger out of the game, after he put a stunning grubber kick through for Dane Gagai to score and drag his side back into the game.

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Valentine Holmes converted to put Billy Slater’s side 6-4 ahead.

Jack Wighton had opened the scoring for the Blues after a wild opening 15 minutes saw the Canberra star tear through the dogged Queensland defence.

Buoyed on by a sell-out 80,000-strong crowd, both sides made a frenetic start to Game One in Sydney, with sets being played at great speed with Cameron Munster and Nathan Cleary looking to set the tone for the series.

Yet a crucial knock on in the Queensland half gave the Blues a fresh set of six and the Maroons were duly punished, with Wighton capitalising on an overload on the left to burst through and score.

Billy Slater was dealt a blow after Xavier Coates went down with an ankle sprain in the first half

Billy Slater was dealt a blow after Xavier Coates went down with an ankle sprain in the first half

The Melbourne Storm star hobbled off and is expected to be unavailable for Game Two

The Melbourne Storm star hobbled off and is expected to be unavailable for Game Two

Panthers star Cleary has been a reliable kick all season but was unable to convert from the left flank, with the Blues leading by six points approaching the 20 minute mark.

Billy Slater’s Maroons entered Wednesday’s contest as the betting underdogs, despite the Blues being without the likes of Tom Trbojevic and Latrell Mitchell through injury. 

Slater was hit by bad injury news of his own, as Storm gun Xavier Coates hobbled off with an ankle injury after being on the receiving end of a huge tackle.

‘This is going to be a great series, there is nothing between the two teams,’ former Blues coach Phil Gould said at half time. ‘I see it coming down to goal kicking. 

However, the bunker intervened to rule out the try for obstruction by Cameron Murray

However, the bunker intervened to rule out the try for obstruction by Cameron Murray

NSW star Nathan Cleary boots the ball upfield while under pressure from Lindsay Collins

NSW star Nathan Cleary boots the ball upfield while under pressure from Lindsay Collins

‘I think it is going to go like this all three games. I think Queensland have had the better of it.’

Slater said his side had areas to improve but he was ‘happy’ with their first half showing.  

‘I thought it was a good half, we could certainly do a lot of things better,’ he said. ‘Pretty happy but we have got another 40 to go.’

Meanwhile, Freddy said: ‘It felt like we couldn’t get out of our own end. At the moment we are pretty comfortable with the team the way it is looking.’ 

Slater was hit by more injury woes as Jeremiah Nanai was forced off with an ankle injury himself mere minutes into the second half. 

But he still had enough star power on the pitch to cause the Blues real problems, as Storm contract rebel Munster danced his way through the heart of the pitch, fending off half a dozen different tacklers to drag his side upfield.  

More to follow.

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