Few sporting contests produce the level of passion and interest as Origin. The series is regarded as one of the great Australian sporting events, and last Wednesday's game showed us why.
Each tackle was fiercely fought. After NSW's first try, QLD made a series of close attempts at the line. Each was shut down by a steely NSW defense.
With QLD's attack tiring after the 30min mark, NSW launched another movement that saw Michael Jennings score next to the posts. This saw NSW going into half-time with 14 – 0 and a powerful psychological advantage.
The second half brought this out with NSW's first three set of tackles grinding QLD back to their try line. Even when QLD did cross the NSW line at the 48min mark, a double movement meant the try was disallowed.
The QLD stars such as Slater and Thurston looked rattled, and seemed unable to weave their normal Origin magic.
It took until the 61st minute, when against the play, QLD caught NSW on the fly resulting in Darius Boyd breaking the NSW try line near the post.
The next 10 minutes saw a desperate QLD and a shaken NSW, each side struggling with confidence. In the end NSW hung on 14 – 6 to win the first game of the Origin series.
As said at the beginning of this article, history tells us first game winners have gone on to win 21 out of 31 series so this game might be a turning point for both the series and the years of QLD domination. We'll wait and see and ponder along with many other Australians.
Jeremy Dover is a former sports scientist and pastor
Jeremy Dover's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/jeremy-dover.html