League: NSW take game one

By Joe Barton

Michael Jennings of the Blues celebrates scoring a try. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Jennings of the Blues celebrates scoring a try. Photo / Getty Images

NSW are one step closer to ending Queensland's seven year State of Origin dominance, claiming game one 14-6.

Skipper Paul Gallen faces a nervous wait however after being placed on report for a swinging arm in the first half - while his role in a wild brawl before halftime is also sure to come under scrutiny.

First-half tries to star backs Jarryd Hayne and Michael Jennings gave the Blues a 14-0 lead at the break.

And it proved enough as a stoic defensive effort withheld a Maroons comeback, earning the win at ANZ Stadium.

Queensland threatened to produce one of their trademark Origin comebacks when winger Darius Boyd crossed with 19 minutes remaining.

But the Blues were inspired by a monster performance from second-rower Luke Lewis, who finished the match with 172 metres - second only to Gallen (187) for forwards.

Maroons five-eighth Johnathan Thurston, in doubt for the clash after picking up a virus in camp, struggled to make an impact as he also battled with an adductor injury.

The champion No.7 left the in-game kicking to halfback Cooper Cronk, and his presence in attack was sorely missed by the Maroons.

Gallen was lucky to return to the field in the second half, after he sparked a brawl right on halftime.

After hitting Myles with a swinging arm, Gallen then squared up and threw a series of punches at the Maroons enforcer.

Gallen made an on-field complaint to referee Ashley Klein about Myles' tactics in the ruck.

The Blues objected to Myles leading with the head when making a tackle on Hayne, who had captured a bomb.

It followed similar complaints during last year's series when Robbie Farah was knocked out from a head clash with Myles.

"He's been doing it series after series. Head-butting and twisting," Gallen told Klein.

The Blues, under rookie coach Laurie Daley, couldn't have asked for a better start to the series with fullback Hayne crossing after just five minutes.

Hayne burst onto a sharp inside pass from Luke Lewis and broke tackles from Justin Hodges and Billy Slater to reach out and slam the ball down.

His effort was shaded by Jennings, who produced a wonderful solo try shortly before halftime in which he beat five hapless Queensland defenders.

The Sydney Roosters centre regathered a loose ball which had rebounded off a Maroons defender, and scooted 15 metres to dot down next to the posts.

The Maroons had their chances, with Boyd and centre Justin Hodges both going close in the first half - only denied by last ditch NSW tackles.

Queensland skipper Cameron Smith looked to have put his side on the board when he crossed five minutes after halftime, but he was denied by the video referees for a double movement.

Smith was tireless all match making 48 tackles, just shy of Blues rake Robbie Farah (50), as he tried to inspire his teammates.

- AAP

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