Queensland centre Will Chambers has found himself in the spotlight of officials after a questionable incident in his side’s 22-12 loss in the State of Origin opener.
Chambers faces a one match ban after being slapped with a dangerous contact charge during the Maroons’ 10-point loss in Melbourne.
Chambers was charged for a second half incident in which he appeared to raise his knee when tackled by Blues rake Damien Cook.
Cook required medical attention before resuming play.
Chambers – who has 90 carry over points – will escape a ban with an early plea to the grade one dangerous contact charge but will miss a week for NRL club Melbourne if he rolls the dice at the judiciary and loses.
Rookie Cook gave the Blues their first try in the 22nd minute when he darted out of dummy-half and created space. He found James Maloney who sent Blues’ man-of-the-match James Tedesco over.
Fellow debutants Latrell Mitchell, Tom Trbojevic and Josh Addo-Carr all scored in the second half – each with the kind of football that had made them world beaters at NRL level.
Mitchell’s try was all strength and power, agile Trbojevic’s from a massive leap and Addo-Carr’s the match-sealer with his acrobatics out wide.
Before Wednesday night, NSW had topped 20 points just five times since the start of Queensland’s run in 2006.
In Fittler’s first game in charge, the Blues did just that – scoring 10 more points than they averaged under Laurie Daley despite having two tries denied late.
And they did it all with their rookies making just three handling errors between them.
It’s hard to judge how the next era looks based on one match. After all, the Maroons lost the first game in 2006 but still won the series and kick-started a dynasty.
But given 70 per cent of teams who win Game I go on to win the series, Fittler will like what he’s seen.