State of Origin Live: NSW vs Qld Score, Rookie Freak’s Origin Wonder, Match Updates

Young rookie Selwyn Cobbo put some magic on the wing to give Queensland the halftime lead in the opening game of the Origin series.

The opener of the State of Origin series proves to be a hard-fought nail-biter, with both sides scoring in the first half at the Accor Stadium in Sydney Olympic Park.

With about 80,000 fans cheering from the stands, Blues center Jack Wighton opened the scoring with a try in the 14th minute, but it wasn’t long before the Maroons returned to service.

Young rookie Selwyn Cobbo put some magic on the wing to give Queensland a two-point lead at halftime.

The Maroons, who led 6-4 during the break, will desperately want to get their 2022 campaign off to a good start after last year’s shelling.

Maroons return with ‘miraculous attempt’

It wasn’t long before the Maroons had narrowed the deficit, with Dane Gagai scoring his 12th attempt at home in the 35th minute.

Young rookie Selwyn Cobbo put together a bit of magic on the wing, collecting the Sherrin before sprinting down the sidelines and deploying a perfectly weighted grubber to let Gagai score.

“A miraculous effort for the Maroons,” said Channel 9 commentator Mathew Thompson.

“Dane Gagai, he’s a try-scoring freak in these colors.”

Valentine Holmes’ conversion kick sailed between the posts and gave Queensland a 6-4 lead just before half-time.

“Cobbo … no words, no words, for a kid that age, to get into this arena with that pickup, with that kick,” former St. George player Matthew Elliott told ABC Tribune.

Minutes later, Blues forward Junior Paulo ducked forward to give New South Wales the lead again, but the Bunker denied the four-pointer due to an obstruction statement.

Blues strikes first with early try

Brad Fittler’s selection gamble paid off.

New South Wales have taken an early lead in Origin I, with center Jack Wighton diving in in the 14th minute.

The Blues spread to the footy towards the left wing before Wighton charged through the Queensland defense and flopped over the tryline.

But Nathan Cleary’s conversion attempt hit the left post, giving NSW a 4-0 lead.

Shortly afterwards, Maroons winger Xavier Coates suffered a suspected ankle injury, limping along the sidelines and leaving the field.

“Xavier Coates is not good, he is ready. Jeremiah Nanai is coming now,” said Wendell Sailor, former Queensland representative triple M

It was later confirmed that Coates would not be returning to the field.

‘Huge drama’ as Origin I kicks off

Blues fans held their breath when star striker Isaah Yeo landed on the wrong side of a heavy impact in the first tackle of the game.

The 27-year-old looked visibly dazed after being overthrown seconds after kick-off by Maroons enforcer Josh Papalii.

After returning to the defensive line, he made two more tackles in the set.

“Huge drama in the first episode of Origin,” said Channel 9 commentator Mathew Thompson.

Newcastle Knights legend Andrew Johns continued: “Oh no, Isaah Yeo has tripped.

“He’s the key man for NSW, he’ll be away for a main assessment.”

But Yeo was quickly checked by the team coach and allowed to continue by the independent doctor.

“If the independent doctor doesn’t see Isaah Yeo, I don’t know what they’re doing,” Panthers legend Ryan Girdler said on Triple M.

Kick-off is in the blink of an eye

After a bizarre light show for pre-match entertainment, the players made their way to Accor Stadium, while Daly Cherry-Evan and the Maroons were greeted by a chorus of booing from the sold-out crowd.

Both sides lined up for the Welcome to Country, delivered by Evonne Weldon, and the National Anthem, performed by Emily Nkomo.

Stream the FOX LEAGUE State of Origin Game 1 REPLAY on Kayo with no ads while playing. Both full and abbreviated reruns available from 11pm Wednesday. New to Kayo? Try now for 14 days for free.

Blues makes two late changes

NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler took some last minute shocks before game one, and no, it had nothing to do with Stephen Crichton or Jack Wighton.

All week rumors had circulated that Panthers center Stephen Crichton, who was named in the 14 jersey, would move to the starting side, while Raiders would shift five eighths Wighton from center to the utility role.

But the Blues coach has thrown a curveball that few have looked for when he revealed two changes to his starting 13.

Eels prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard and Panthers back rower Liam Martin have been parachuted from the starting side.

Campbell-Gillard replaces club mate Junior Paulo, while Martin was traded for Rabbitohs skipper Cameron Murray.

Meanwhile, Queensland national team manager Billy Slater has confirmed there will be no changes on the side of the Maroons.

Queensland’s illegal act caught

The Maroons were in trouble before they even left their hotel.

As revealed by Channel 9’s Peter Fagan, a parking inspector from the city of Parramatta was seen marking the tires of the Queensland team bus on Wednesday afternoon and taking photos of the vehicle.

The bus was reportedly in a 15-minute zone and the Maroons were able to accommodate a parking violation.

It has never been so clear that all of New South Wales is against the Maroons tonight.

Gould’s Tweet Makes Fans Angry

In a disappointing revelation, Channel 9 pundit Phil Gould has confirmed on Twitter that he will not be performing his famous “Final Word” gee-up before kick-off.

“It’s going to be a smashing match. Don’t miss it,” he tweeted.

And to make matters worse, legendary commentator Ray Warren – aka the Voice of Rugby League – won’t be behind the mic tonight after announcing his retirement last week.

Mathew Thompson will be commentating his first State of Origin game in place of Warren.

When and where is it?

The series kicks off on Wednesday, June 8 at the Accor Stadium in Sydney.

How to watch?

You can watch the match live on Channel 9. The broadcast will start at 7pm (AEST) and post-match coverage will run until approximately 11pm.

You can then watch a replay of the match on Kayo from 11 p.m.

What time is the kick-off?

Kick-off is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. (AEST). However, as fans are well aware, the actual start time of any Origin game changes to a match of kick-off bingo, so it may be a little later than the scheduled time.

Team lists

Blues: 1. James Tedesco 2. Brian To’o 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Jack Wighton 5. Daniel Tupou 6. Jarome Luai 7. Nathan Cleary 8. Payne Haas 9. Damien Cook 16. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 12. Tariq Sims 15. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo 10. Junior Paulo 11. Cameron Murray 14. Stephen Crichton 17. Ryan Matterson. 18th man: 18. Nicho Hynes

Coach: Brad Fittler

Maroons: 1. Kalyn Ponga 2. Selwyn Cobbo 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Dane Gagai 5. Xavier Coates 6. Cameron Munster 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui 9. Ben Hunt 10. Josh Papalii’i 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Felise Kaufusi 13. Reuben Cotter 14. Harry Grant 15. Lindsay Collins 16. Patrick Carrigan 17. Jeremiah Nanai. 18th man: 19. Jai Arrow

Coach: Billy Slater

Fans are starting to pour in

Coach selection interview questioned

Former QLD Maroons hardman Corey Parker has been confused by Brad Fittler’s decision to start Stephen Crichton on the bench for the series opener.

Fittler chose to go with Jack Wighton in the middle on the premiership-winning outer back.

Many thought the call could be a smokescreen and lead to a belated change, but Blues advisor Greg Alexander, however, stopped those rumors.

“Jack will start in the centers,” Alexander said on the Fox League podcast.

“Those rumors have been circulating since the side was announced, but Jack will start in the centers.”

Former Knights player Alex McKinnon supported Fittler’s decision to go with Wighton.

“I love it,” he said.

“Jack Wighton is a player I would have on my team any week. Any Origin (side) I would pick would definitely be in it.

“He’s tough, he’s sincere, he competes, he’s a good ball runner and in the middle he defends in that position as a half anyway, so it’s not really much of a difference.

“I think it’s a big question for Crichton to debut in Origin at center left. Dane Gagai, who he will be up against, is a very experienced player and I don’t think I’ve ever seen him play a bad game for Queensland.

“It’s all about kick-chasing, fighting and carrying from your own side. I think Jack Wighton does that really well. He’s such a strong body, he’s physical and he’s a bit older.”

Parker, however, was not in the mood for it.

“I kind of agree… He’s a great player, Crichton, I really do,” he said.

“I just don’t see the value of a rookie – especially an outsider – sitting on the couch for that long and expending that nervous energy (and) how it’s going to be positive.

“Jack is Jack and he can play anywhere, but I don’t see Stephen Crichton going in at fullback when things don’t go well – it just doesn’t happen – because that’s even more pressure. Interesting to watch.”

“I think it’s a safe decision from Freddy,” McKinnon replied before answering Queensland’s “risky” call to pick 20-year-old Selwyn Cobb, who has played just 19 NRL games.

“If you look at Queensland, they picked Cobbo on the wing. He was incredible to start the season – I think that’s a huge call as well.

“I think he will blow them apart on Wednesday night, really I think he will be incredible. Corey Oates was probably one of the wingers of the league this year.”

Originally published as Live: State of Origin Game 1, NSW vs Queensland in Sydney

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