The NSW VB Blues put in a scintillating performance in Origin I last night.
Here are the moments that mattered in their largest-ever win at Suncorp Stadium.
Fifita’s Fleet Feet
Could anyone stop the VB Blues biggest bopper last night? Andrew Fifita was phenomenal – and he put his stamp on the game in just the sixth minute of play. Receiving an inside ball from halfback Mitchell Pearce, Fifita bulldozed and quick-stepped his way 20 metres closer to the Queensland line, before popping a pearler of an offload to club teammate James Maloney to scoot past the Maroons’ last defender to score. From that point onwards, Fifita remained the best player on the park.
On The Hooter
They say that scoring plays just before half-time are some of the most crucial – and the VB Blues landed a killer blow just before the break. With just a two-point lead after dominating the first period, NSW needed more points, and they managed to do so with just 35 seconds remaining in the first half. A right-to-left shift on the fifth resulted in Wade Graham turning the ball inside and drawing a defender to put James Tedesco into half a gap, before the no.1 found Pearce inside to cross under the posts. It was a killer blow.
James Tedesco’s Try-Savers
The VB Blues’ fullback made not one but two try-saving tackles in the second half – when it appeared more difficult for the Maroons NOT to score than actually cross for a four-pointer. Even with a sizeable lead, the NSW no.1 showed that no, you shall not pass Queensland… and he’s set the standard for the rest of the 2017 series.
No Half, No Problem
Blues halfback Mitchell Pearce’s night ended early ahead a head clash in the 50th minute. After a promising opening half that resulted in a try, Pearce was assisted off the field early in the second half – and it was the Blues’ response to losing their attacking conductor that showed more than anything. Determined not to give Queensland an inch, NSW, with James Maloney now calling the shows, streaked away with the win – proving they can get the job done no matter who falls in the process.
Justin O’Neill’s Fumble
It was Queensland centre Justin O’Neill’s dropped ball at 16-6 that really broke the back of the Maroons. Coming off his own line, the Cowboy spilt the pill – and barnstorming VB Blues front-rower swooped on the crumbs. That passage of play, that directly resulted in a four-pointer to Fifita, summed up the Maroons’ night… and how the Blues would prove simply unstoppable.