28 May 2015

Queensland win Origin opener

6:37 am on 28 May 2015

Queensland have won the opening game of rugby league's State of Origin series beating New South Wales 11-10 in Sydney.

Queensland skipper Cameron Smith (left).

Queensland skipper Cameron Smith (left). Photo: Photosport

Cooper Cronk slotted a 30-metre drop goal six minutes from time to give Queensland victory in a typically hard fought opening match in the rugby league series.

New South Wales, defending the title for the first time in 10 years, had the chance to draw level in the 78th minute but Josh Dugan's drop goal attempt sailed wide to the disappointment of a majority of a crowd of 80 thousand at Sydney's Olympic Stadium.

Cronk had cut through the home defence to give Queensland an early first-half lead but centre Josh Morris hit back in the 20th minute after a blistering 40-metre break and crosskick from fullback Dugan.

Forward Beau Scott crashed over six minutes later to give the home side a 10-6 halftime lead but Will Chambers tied the scores up with a well-worked try in the corner 15 minutes into the second half.

New South Wales must now win both of the remaining matches, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 17th and in Brisbane on July 8th, to claim back-to-back titles for the first time since 2005.

Cronk says that was a really tough round of football, really physical and they hung in there, really pleased to get the first game their way.

The Queensland captain Cameron Smith, who was awarded the man of the match award, says it was one of the toughest Origin matches he's played in.

"The Blues (NSW) I think they only made one error in the first half and that's probably why they were up 10-6 but a great fightback by our boys."

"We spoke at half-time in the sheds about just being patient and sticking to our game plan and I thought we did that."

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