Queensland's coach Mal Meninga knows his side is in a fight after they toughed out a 16-12 State of Origin victory over New South Wales in Brisbane.
The Maroons came from 12-10 down with 11 minutes to play, Darren Lockyer laying on a try for Billy Slater to clinch game one of the three match series.
The Blues new era under Ricky Stuart was proved to be no illusion as they absorbed a fearsome opening to both halves from Queensland to fight back from 10-0 down.
Meninga says his playes were exhausted mentally and physically and showed while Stuart says he feels vindicated that he had found some future Origin players after selecting five debutants and leaving out superstar Jarryd Hayne.
Queensland centre Willie Tonga will undergo scans on an injured shoulder after courageously completing the game.
Origin II will be played in Sydney on June 15.