A try from Fiji Bati hooker Apisai Koroisau was not enough for the New South Wales Blues as the Queensland Maroons came from behind to snatch a famous 26-18 win in State of Origin Game One at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday.
The Maroons struck first with two quick tries in the 10th and 12th minute to Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Selwyn Cobbo with Valentine Holmes adding one conversion.
The Blues kept their composure and after slowly climbing up the field Liam Martin crossed over in the 32nd minute with pivot Nathan Cleary adding the conversion from in front of the sticks.
A tight arm wrestle continued but the Maroons held onto the10-6 lead at halftime.
The second half started on a fast pace as the the first and Fiji Bati and Koroisau forced a steal and recovered to race through to score with Cleary adding the conversion with just four minutes gone.
The Maroons found some fresh air and with superb fast play Cobbo went over the try-line in the 57th minute for his second try of the match with the conversion from Holmes putting the maroons back in front 16-14.
Late replacement Stephen Crichton leveled the points once more after the Maroons juggled a high ball to put him clear over with Cleary converting in the 68th minute to put the Blues in front again.
A sin bin to Maroons forward Thomas Fleger had the favourites reduced to 12 men for the remainder of the game.
Tabuai-Fidow scored the the try of the match to grab his double in the 74th minute to put them back in with Holmes missing the conversion.
The Maroons sealed the deal with another try to Cameron Munster in the 77th minute with Holmes adding the conversion.
The Maroons will host Game Two on Wednesday June 21 at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.
Queensland Maroons: Reece Walsh, Selwyn Cobbo, Valentine Holmes, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, Murray Taulagi, Cameron Munster, Daly Cherry-Evans, Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Ben Hunt, Reuben Cotter, David Fifita, Tom Gilbert, Patrick Carrigan.
Interchange: Harry Grant, Thomas Flegler, Lindsay Collins.
NSW Blues: James Tedesco, Brian To’o, Stephen Crichton, Tom Trbojevic, Josh Addo-Carr, Jarome Luai, Nathan Cleary, Tevita Pangai Jnr, Apisai Koroisau, Payne Haas, Tyson Frizell, Hudson Young, Isaah Yeo.
Interchange: Junior Paulo, Cameron Murray, Liam Martin, Nicho Hynes.