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State Of Origin 2023 Game 1: Queensland Maroons V NSW Blues – Live Updates

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52 mins: Maybe this will help them out? A little set-to near the Queensland line, sparked by Luai trying to punch the ball out of Cotter’s hands, leads to plenty of jersey scragging, but there’s no penalty. The Maroons then go nowhere fast with their set and compound their abysmal form with a crusher tackle penalty on Addo-Carr’s kick-return. This is abject from the defending champs.

51 mins: Cobbo, as well as Walsh, has done well under the high ball tonight. Both have had a mountain of work to do thanks to so many errors in and out of possession. AND THERE’S ANOTHER! The Maroons try to break down the left, two Blues execute the tackle, the ball comes loose, and NSW are back on the attack. What is happening to Queensland out there?

49 mins: No. Collins coughs up possession in contact with Yeo under the posts. Deary me. This is so far below Origin standard.

48 mins: Queensland have barely landed a punch since the 12th minute. Now they have to come from behind. What have they got? Daly Cherry-Evans has got a 40-20! That’s what! Could that be the spark the Maroons need?

Daly Cherry-Evans of the Maroons celebrates a 40/20 kick. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesTRY! Queensland 10-12 NSW (Koroisau, 44)Absolute catastrophe for Queensland! Holmes has three men on him 20m from his own line during an innocuous set and he tries to offload! What is he thinking!? Koroisau is on the spot to deflect the ball down on the ground – backwards, just – watch it ricochet off his foot into space with only the night air for company. The hooker mops up his great work and dabs over for a try out of nowhere.

Cleary kicks his second. Nightmare for the Maroons.

Apisai Koroisau of the Blues celebrates scoring a try. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images43 mins: NSW look more threatening with ball in hand though, especially Paulo, who cannonballs through Collins like he’s a crash test dummy. Cleary resumes his bombing raid on Walsh but the youngster continues to stand up to the test.

42 mins: Collins and Arrow make strong runs to set Queensland up at the start of the second half. Slater will be pleased to see a solid set to get the game back underway.

41 mins: The Maroons haven’t given up a half-time lead since 2014. Can they hold on at Adelaide Oval?

Maroons assistant coach Johnathan Thurston yells instructions. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesHave you caught your breath? Well, too bad if you haven’t, the second half is imminent.

Well, that was a very frustrating watch if you are a Blue fan. Slow start. Some poor defence early. Then for the next 30 minutes totally dominated the play. Over the line three times. Alas only one try. Wonderful defensive resolve from Maroon. They really fought hard. Couple of…

— Phil Gould (@PhilGould15) May 31, 2023 That wasn’t the best advert for State of Origin footy: 10 errors, eight penalties, and not a lot of flow to a stop-start half. NSW looked clearly the more accomplished of the two sides but coughed up a brace of tries in quick succession when Queensland profited from cheap penalties.

Thereafter it was a Blues siege, requiring some phenomenal defence from Murray Taulagi in particular to keep his side in front. Martin eventually busted his way through to add a level of realism to the scoreboard, and the momentum is all with NSW.

Enhancing that state of affairs, Billy Slater can no longer call on Tom Gilbert, who has been ruled out with a dislocated shoulder, while David Fifita is undergoing an extended HIA.

Tyson Frizell of the Blues is held up over the try line by Murray Taulagi. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesHalf-time: Queensland 10-6 NSWThe Maroons are on top on the scoreboard at the break but it’s the Blues who are on the front foot and look the most likely.

Stephen Crichton is tackled by Harry Grant and Ben Hunt. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAPDaly Cherry-Evans leads the Maroons into the rooms at half-time. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images39 mins: NSW have one final attack for the half. Can they make the most of it? No! Ben Hunt reads the play off the ruck and nails Cleary in the tackle, dislodging the ball in the process.

Ben Hunt of the Maroons. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAPNathan Cleary. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP39 mins: Play restarts under the Queensland posts with Liam Martin – a man born for Origin – absolutely poleaxing Lindsay Collins. that was more powerful than the recent Victorian earthquake.

38 mins: Another penalty! Munster this time interfering with Addo-Carr at the play-the-ball. Such an un-Origin stop-start half. It suits the Blues right now though with all the momentum their way and a full set in Queensland’s half. The ball goes left at speed – Trbojevic taps on magnificently – but Crichton again, for the second set in a row is held up short of the line unable to find his winger. The Cleary kick again sets up a flock of seagulls fighting over a chip and again the ball comes down in favour of the Maroons. However, there’s a Captain’s Challenge from James Tedesco. He wants a knock-on from Reece Walsh or Harry Grant somewhere in the melee … and it looks like Grant might have got a touch, but not enough to overrule the on-field decision. Queensland retain possession but NSW don’t lose their challenge.

Referee Ashley Klein speaks to James Tedesco. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images36 mins: The Maroons put a set together but To’o puts it into context with a wrecking ball of a run to set the Blues back on the front foot. Two tackles later Crichton bullies his way in sight of the line on the left but as the ball is spun back to the right it’s grassed and the steam leaks from the attack. Cleary still has a kick to come and it prompts a pack mark under the posts. The ball bobbles free – and into Queensland hands.

Brian To’o of the Blues is tackled. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images34 mins: NSW back-up their try with a thundering set that ends with Cobbo being pounded into the turf a split second after fielding a Cleary bomb. Queensland are hanging on for the half-time siren.

TRY! Queensland 10-6 NSW (Martin, 33)Finally, finally, all that pressure and possession pays, and it’s the Penrith combination that delivers. Cleary, to Luai, to stand up the Queensland line and allow Liam Martin to pound through a gap and jog under the posts. No less than NSW deserve.

Nathan Cleary doesn’t miss from under the posts.

Liam Martin of the Blues scores a try. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesThe Blues celebrate after Martin’s try. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images32 mins: And another! Three tackles into the set an attempted strip comes loose and it’s regathered by the Blues for a set restart. Three tackles later, under the posts, David Fifita is ordered from the field to take an HIA after a clash of heads with Tedesco. NSW are ramping up the pressure.

31 mins: And the Maroons cough up cheap possession quickly. Surely they cannot continue to survive with so many errors.

30 mins: The Maroons get away with another one when Cobbo spills a crossfield bomb backwards and its gathered by a fellow Queenslander. Cleary’s kick was dangerous after Frizell set up good field position.

Nathan Cleary of the Blues. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP28 mins: “NSW have had 57% possession and they’re down 10-0” bemoans Andrew Johns with all the pep of a man reading the last rites. It is a remarkable scoreline considering the nature of the action for most of this half. Speaking of the action, Queensland do just as required and settle things down with a couple of straightforward sets up the guts.

David Fifita of the Maroons. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP27 mins: Tedesco has been lively tonight and he makes another nice dart. Koroisau is sharp at the ruck to feed Young on the burst – but he spills in contact and the Maroons get their first breather in a long time. They need to settle things down for a few sets.

James Tedesco. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP26 mins: Harry Grant is on the field but his first act is to throw a pass forward out of a tackle. NSW scrum feed on halfway.

24 mins: Murray Taulagi is the star of this match so far with his defence. What a performance. And he adds an exclamation point with a one-on-one strip.

Meanwhile, Tom Gilbert is out for the night with a dislocated shoulder.

Tom Gilbert of the Maroons leaves the field injured. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images22 mins: Queensland’s sets for the past five or six minutes have just been all about taking the sting out of the game as much as possible. NSW by contrast are buzzing with intent. They get to the last tackle under the posts for the third set in succession and there’s a ruck infringement! Dear oh dear. So many errors. NSW reload and get the rub of the green when Trbojevic juggles the ball back to Tedesco. Still they come the Blues, Queensland are on the ropes, and Frizell finally breaks the line and rolls over … but no try! TAULAGI AGAIN takes man and ball over the line to get the on-field call of no-try with the bunker unable to find enough evidence to overrule. How on earth have NSW not scored yet!?

Tyson Frizell of the Blues appeals for a try that was not given. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images20 mins: The Blues have a full set within sniffing distance of the long white line. Surely there’s a score here. Cleary has a dart. Tedesco has a half step of space. The pressure is overwhelming. Murray Taulagi take a bow! James Tedesco looked certain to score but Taulagi wrapped his arms around the NSW skipper, holding up man and ball over the line denying a certain six points. Incredible defence from the Maroons.

James Tedesco of the Blues is held up over the try line. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images18 mins: NSW are running from deep with all their backs looking for offloads and it’s earning them good yardage through To’o and Trbojevic in particular. Gilbert is busy in the middle for Queensland but he pulls up sore, holding his shoulder. Collins comes on in his place – but Gilbert hadn’t left the field of play! Penalty NSW! In all my live long days. That is schoolboy stuff from the Maroons.

16 mins: NSW blow it! DCE goes long with the drop-out and run the ball back hard. Queensland concede a set restart with the Blues building a head of steam, runners on both edges stepping off their direct opponents and sharking for offloads. Finally the space opens to the left, the ball goes through hands, but the line is too flat and Crichton tries to pat the ball on instead of accepting contact and he knocks on. Queensland escaped there.

14 mins: Munster kicks on tackle three after the restart and To’o almost makes him pay with a neat dart to set up a couple of tackles in dangerous field position. On the last Walsh again defuses a Cleary bomb but he concedes a drop-out in the process.

Reece Walsh of the Maroons is tackled by Tyson Frizell and Payne Haas of the Blues. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAPTRY! Queensland 10-0 NSW (Cobbo, 12)Two in two minutes for the Maroons! Queensland spin the ball through hands to the right, each pass perfectly weighted from DCE to Wash to Holmes to Cobbo on the outside who has room to dive over in the corner. Perfectly executed set play behind the penalty. Walsh was critical injecting his pace and directness, and he induced a slip from To’o to create the overlap on the flank.

The Blues only have themselves to blame for their indiscipline.

Holmes is a fraction skinny with his touchline conversion attempt.

Selwyn Cobbo of the Maroons scores a try. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images11 mins: What was I saying about Klein putting the whistle away earlier? A fourth penalty of the night is blown for yet another NSW infringement, this time for a two-man strip. Queensland again with decent attacking territory after the restart.

James Tedesco of the Blues talks with referee Ashley Klein. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAPTRY! Queensland 6-0 NSW (Tabuai-Fidow, 8)And that spell almost begins with an opportunistic Hunt try only for a Cleary ankle tap to avert disaster. Queensland continue to probe though, gaining momentum, and by the last tackle, the attacking line is moving at pace – all except for Cameron Munster, who stops time and space while he drops the ball on to his left boot and dribbles it perfectly into the path for Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow to dive on to over the try line. Textbook. Queensland strike first.

Valentine Holmes kicks the extras.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow of the Maroons celebrates scoring a try. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images6 mins: The first decent attacking platform of the night sees NSW spin the ball to both edges with Crichton and Trbojevic both making darts from the centres before being foiled by excellent Queensland defence. On the last tackle Trbojevic palms back Cleary’s kick but as the Blues try to keep the ball alive with multiple offloads there’s a forward pass and the Maroons escape. Almost immediately they’re awarded an offside penalty and Queensland have their first spell in opposition territory.

4 mins: Klein is quick to calm things down and allow DCE to kick the penalty clear. Replays show Frizell’s contact on Walsh wasn’t that severe, unlike Addo-Carr’s, which contained much more menace. From the restart Queensland go through hands early and make decent ground but Munster’s kick on the last tackle is poor and there’s no pressure on the NSW line. But a tackle after the handover there’s a ruck infringement and Hudson Young is again blowing up over something – Cherry-Evans in his sights this time. It’s just heating up nicely out there.

4 mins: The Maroons keep things tight on their first set of the night, but before their second begins it all goes off! Walsh is taken out in the air by Frizell, he’s then mauled on the ground by Addo-Carr, sparking an all-in. It’s mainly handbags but there are spotfires around the fringes with Hudson Young making his presence known.

2 mins: There isn’t the fireworks of the last Origin opening set but Queensland execute a series of bone shuddering tackles denying NSW any room to run into. Cleary kicks from range to test Walsh early, but he’s up to it.

Kick-off!Nowhere near the scheduled 8.05pm start time, Reece Walsh gets State of Origin 2023 under way!

A surprisingly political Welcome to Country, with a nod to the voice referendum, precedes the national anthem. It’s almost go time.

Welcome to Country is read before game one. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesAnd after a not insignificant pause, the Maroons are out on the turf as well, top to toe in the colour of rich Queensland soil.

Here we go … Out come the Blues, the nominal away side this evening, and they’re in an unfamiliar navy uniform with sky blue trim. They are met with resounding boos from the Adelaide crowd, peppered with only a smattering of cheers.

Jarome Luai of the Blues runs on the field. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesAshley Klein is once again the man in the middle after earning positive reviews for his handling of last year’s series. Expect him to blow the whistle only when absolutely necessary.

Ashley Klein is charged with controlling the uncontrollable. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAP“The revelation that Origin 1 is not a sell out isn’t really that much of a surprise,” emails Phil Withall. “Australian sports seem to have a need to be loved, irrespective of the needs of supporters. The recent A-league grand final deal in Sydney being a case in point. The desire to be seen as massively important, to get government funding, is actually diluting the vitality of the game they claim to promote. Yes, I am a grumpy old man.”

The Living End are still giving it their all, by the way. It’s not doing a lot for the Channel 9 punditry panel.

The Living End perform at the Adelaide Oval before Game 1 of State of Origin Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty ImagesIt’s unlikely to be a sellout in Adelaide tonight but a healthy crowd pushing 50,000 is expected nonetheless as rugby league bosses continue to take their most marketable asset around the country to increase the sport’s popularity outside its heartlands.

It’s mild and dry in South Australia’s capital, with a slight northerly breeze the only impediment to perfect playing conditions.

In more sombre ruby league-rock n roll crossover news, Nick Tedeschi reflects on the sad news of the death of Tina Turner.

Turner was arguably as loved in New South Wales and Queensland as she was anywhere else in the world, a remarkable state of affairs for a grandmother born in Nutbush, Tennessee, who had no idea what rugby league was before becoming its voice.

“Ladies and gentlemen they have won six Arias,” crows the stadium announcer, unintentionally damning The Living End with faint praise. He goes on, adding plenty of qualifiers: “regarded as one of Australia’s most iconic live rock acts, here with their classic song White Noise!”

Cue a classic Triple M cacophony with the stadium lights down and the amps turned up to 11.

Keith’s called it early.

“I heard the game wasn’t a sellout,” emails El Rey. “That would be because the good folk of Adelaide are all in bed by 7:30pm, wouldn’t it?”

That’s the one and only cheap shot I’m allowing at South Australia’s expense.

And for all the snark from other states it is a salutary reminder that no sport can take it’s support for granted outside its heartland. Nights like tonight are about growing the game and if it isn’t a sellout it shows how much work is still to be done spreading the gospel.

Plenty of empty seats at Adelaide Oval as the NSW Blues players acclimatise to the surroundings. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAPBrad Fittler was optimistic when he had a word with the TV boys. “I feel good. The training during the week, they train at such a high level now. It’s quite impressive. We had some tough sessions and they just ticked all the boxes. Pretty happy with where they are at at the moment.”

What will win it for the Blues? “Our kicking at the back end of sets,” according to Fittler. “If we can get to the back end of sets I feel like Nathan [Cleary] is experienced enough. Spoken a lot about chasing and getting down there being clean. A lot of work has to go into getting us to the back end of sets, so I look forward to seeing how he processes that part of the game. I think we can lean on Nathan with his professionalism and execution. He gives that advantage with his kicking.”

Brad Fittler, cool as always. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Billy Slater has had a word with the host broadcaster.

“I think to start with we have got to earn it, we have got to get our game on,” the Queensland coach said. “Obviously we are not ignorant to the fact they are a good side and they are going to bring strength and we have to shut them down.”

Asked about NSW selecting plenty of muscle up front, Slater responded: “Well, that’s obviously what they think suits them. We have got our own game. We will play our style, they will play theirs. That’s what makes this a great contest, doesn’t it? It’s an aggressive game. You’ve got to be aggressive to get the upper hand. We would like to think that we are going to be pretty aggressive.”

Queensland coach Billy Slater. Photograph: Matt Turner/AAPNick Tedeschi reflects on the absence of NSW star Latrell Mitchell.

The NRL will also be devastated by Mitchell’s forced withdrawal. Tickets are not sold out, which is rare for State of Origin, but more worrying is the impact Mitchell’s absence in Adelaide will have on growing the game in South Australia. Adelaide briefly had a premiership team in the Rams from 1997 to 1998, and while it is not a city on the radar for expansion it is an area where the NRL is hoping to see a spike in week-to-week interest after this Origin clash.

Angus Fontaine runs the rule over the two squads.

New South Wales have gone back to the future for State of Origin 2023, recalling a host of stars to their Game One squad while Queensland have overhauled their winning combinations from last year to blood a batch of young guns and forge a new dynasty.

Nicho Hynes of the Blues on the field at Adelaide Oval. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty ImagesNSW XVIIThe Blues were dealt a blow when Latrell Mitchell was ruled out, but his misfortune hands an opportunity to the reigning Dally M Medalist Nicho Hynes. Six premiership-winning Panthers provide the core of the group (including Nathan Cleary who has recovered from an infected wisdom tooth), but it’s ex-Penrith rake Api Koroisau who’s worth keeping an eye on as he is the only hooker in the squad and will have a big 80-minute shift ahead of him.

NSW: 1 James Tedesco, 2 Brian To’o, 3 Stephen Crichton, 4 Tom Trbojevic, 5 Josh Addo-Carr, 6 Jarome Luai, 7 Nathan Cleary, 8 Tevita Pangai Junior, 9 Api Koroisau, 10 Payne Haas, 11 Tyson Frizell, 12 Hudson Young, 13 Isaah Yeo

INTERCHANGE: 14 Junior Paulo, 15 Cameron Murray, 16 Liam Martin, 17 Nicho Hynes

This year’s Blues debutants Tevita Pangai Junior, Nicho Hynes and Hudson Young all look ready for the bigtime. Photograph: Dean Lewins/AAPQueensland XVIIIt’s all about the youthful backline for the Maroons, headlined by 20-year-old Reece Walsh, the only debutant in Billy Slater’s starting XIII. Harry Grant provides an x-factor off the bench with Ben Hunt’s versatility and experience worth its weight in gold.

Speaking about Walsh, Slater said: “Hopefully he is himself, enjoys himself and gets his game on. He’s been fantastic this year for the Broncos. He got an opportunity a couple of years ago to play for Queensland and unfortunately tore his hamstring a couple of days before the game. So he is more ready now than he has ever been. He has had a great week at training. Got a good team that he’s in. Hopefully he can be himself.”

Queensland: 1 Reece Walsh, 2 Selwyn Cobbo, 3 Valentine Holmes, 4 Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, 5 Murray Taulagi, 6 Cameron Munster, 7 Daly Cherry-Evans, 15 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, 9 Ben Hunt, 16 Reuben Cotter, 11 Tom Gilbert, 12 David Fifita, 13 Pat Carrigan.

INTERCHANGE: 14 Harry Grant, 8 Tom Flegler, 10 Lindsay Collins, 17 Jai Arrow.

Reece Walsh has big shoes to fill as Queensland’s No 1 but he couldn’t ask for a better coach in Billy Slater, his state’s greatest ever fullback. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAPAngus Fontaine sets the scene.

Last year at Suncorp, with a minute to play and NSW attacking close to the line, Cleary sniffed victory and put the ball on that golden boot of his. Ben Hunt saw the kick coming, charged it down and raced 90-metres to score a try that sealed the match and series. Yet again, glorious victory and abject defeat in Origin was decided in a single moment by a slight miscalculation and a sweet stroke of genius. When the chance comes on Wednesday and the lightning is there to be bottled, who will be the one?


Jonathan Howcroft

Hello everybody and welcome to live coverage of State of Origin Game 1 between Queensland’s Maroons and New South Wales’s Blues. Kick-off at Adelaide Oval is 8.05pm-ish (AEST).

I say ish, because this is Origin. Normal rules don’t apply. Especially in South Australia. I wager it’ll be gone ten-past and there’ll still be pyro smoke drifting over the Chappell Stand as commentators gush about the Greatest Game in the World™ at the most picturesque stadium in sport™.

And you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Give me all the chintz and cliche. For three nights of the year I relish putting my snark in a draw in and embracing all the mate v mate™ chicanery. I love the Phil Gould supercuts, Andrew Johns’s “bullshit”, the legend of The King, and everything else that makes State of Origin so insular and compelling.

As for the action this year, there’s nothing to suggest it isn’t going to be as gripping and keenly fought as ever. Only two series this millennium have been swept, while the ledger reads three-apiece since 2017.

Queensland arrive as defending champions, upsetting favourites New South Wales last year in the most thrilling decider. The Maroons will again rely on the experience of halves Cameron Munster and Daly Cherry-Evans, and hope the instincts of Billy Slater are proven correct once more with the second-year coach selecting players in jersey numbers 1-5 with an average age of just 22.

Maroons coach Billy Slater arrives at Adelaide Oval. Photograph: Dave Hunt/AAPThe Blues come in with a point to prove, and bursting with star quality courtesy of half a dozen Penrith Panthers and three of the past four Dally M Medalists. However, the absence of Latrell Mitchell tonight robs the occasion of arguably the game’s most maverick and magnificent force.

If you want to get in touch at any point you can always send me an email or pop a tweet to @JPHowcroft. On with the show.

Simply the best.

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