The NSW Blues have humiliated the Maroons in a 50-6 drubbing in the first ever State of Origin game in Townsville, despite outrage over the officiating regarding sin-bins.
NSW and Queensland kicked-off the game with a frenetic pace, but the Blues forwards dominated the middle to give them field position.
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And from the opening siren, backs Latrell Mitchell and man-of-the-match Tom Trbojevic dominated the edge to help put the Maroons to the sword.
Manly star Trbojevic soon turned the Blues' dominant field position into the first try of the night after a cut-out pass put him through a gaping hole in the Maroons' defence.
Blues rookie Brian To'o - who'd earlier survived a nasty head collision with Christian Welch - extended the NSW lead after crossing in the corner following some clever work from his Panthers teammate Jarome Luai.
To'o's dream debut at Origin level got even better some five minutes later as he capitalised on a miracle play from Sims to help the Blues take a 20-0 first half lead.
The Blues managed 23 line-breaks to the Maroons' 10, six missed tackles to the Maroons' 18, six line breaks to one and almost 50 more post-contact metres to lead 20-6 at half time.
More senseless play from Joe Ofahengaue was followed by more Mitchell-Trbojevic brilliance to start the second half, the former grubbering to the latter for another try.
Trbojevic crossed again and Mitchell followed, Xavier Coates making a mess of a high ball as the blooper reel grew longer.
The match was capped off with a beautiful line-break from captain James Tedesco, before he flicked the ball behind his back to Trbjovic to cap off a hat-trick.
Reports on Kyle Feldt, Moeaki Fotuaika and Munster will ensure more headaches for first-year coach Paul Green ahead of Game II in Brisbane on June 27.
Despite the scoreline never being in doubt after a remarkable barrage from the whole NSW team, fans became infuriated after a controversial moment in the 48th minute.
Feldt tackle enrages fans in Origin
In the lead up to a Mitchell try, Cameron Murray appeared to be collected high from a Kyle Feldt tackle after he had passed the ball.
Despite NRL head competition's Graham Annesley insisting the game would be officiated the same as it has been week-to-week at club level, Feldt just went on report.
Fans were left perplexed after a plethora of players have been sent to the bin for 10 minutes over the last three weeks due to any contact to the head.
Many felt Feldt should have been marched.
— Sam Walker (@samuelsays11) June 9, 2021
Kyle Feldt shouldn't be on the field for the rest of this game. #Origin
— Todd Pengilly (@T_Pen92) June 9, 2021
How is Feldt on report and Luai only on notice. Sutton making it up as he goes.
— CAPEL (@laurencecapel) June 9, 2021
Can't believe Feldt got away with that shoulder to the head.
— Mattcasfan (@mattcasfan) June 9, 2021
— Stephen Rodgers (@Steve_Rodgers) June 9, 2021
Luai sqaures up to Ofa. Gives it some and gets put on notice.
Feldt stands his ground. Split second tackle. Arms wrapping. On report.
You've got to be done with this sort of officiating. They're making it up. #NRL #stateoforigin
— CAPEL (@laurencecapel) June 9, 2021
How is Feldt still on the field? If that’s a normal game, hes lucky to have 10 in the bin their.
— Ben Jahmin (@Benjahhhmin) June 9, 2021
Regardless of the controversy, the Maroons have a huge gap to turn around in two weeks when the team's square-off at Suncorp.
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