Speed, strength and power gets the job done for Blues
Too fast, too strong and too powerful.
Those were the ingredients behind NSW's 22-12 win at the MCG as Brad Fittler's new look Blues provided hope that Queensland's era of dominance was finally set to end.
With 11 rookies in the NSW team, there is a belief the Blues will only get better the longer they play together, while the Maroons are beginning a rebuilding phase after the representative retirement of Cameron Smith, Johnathan Thurston and Cooper Cronk.
Add in the injured Billy Slater, and Queensland was missing a combined 130 games of Origin experience. Impossible to replace.
While it is too early to herald the start of a new Blues era, the recipe for success in the opening game of the series was built around the speed of NSW's outside backs and a powerful forward pack.
Captain Boyd Cordner carried the ball for 156 metres, while starting props David Klemmer (129 metres) and Reagan Campbell-Gillard (109m) helped lay the platform for NSW's win with their rampaging runs.
In comparison, Maroons lock Josh McGuire (115m) was the only member of his forward pack to run the ball more than 100 metres.
With their forwards making metres up the middle of the field, the Blues were able to get quick play-the-balls to take advantage of their speed out wide.
The pace of the game was so fast that at times the referees were struggling to get back 10 metres before the tackled player had placed his foot on the ball, with NSW's first half play-the-ball speed averaging 3.28 seconds.
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It was a quick play-the-ball which enabled Blues hooker Damien Cook to race out of dummy half and instigate NSW's first try to fullback James Tedesco in the 22nd minute, with the former beach sprint champion beating Josh McGuire and another three defenders before linking with Maloney.
Tedesco, who reached a top pace of 35.1 kph in his run to the line after backing up Maloney, took advantage of another quick play the ball to spark the match-winning try by Addo-Carr, the fastest man on the field, in the 69th minute.
Racing into space from dummy half, Tedesco bounced off an attempted tackle by Maroons five-eighth Cameron Munster before linking with Maloney to put an unmarked Addo-Carr over in the corner.
Queensland's first-half try came from an intercept pass by winger Valentine Holmes who raced 85 metres to score in the 29th minute and despite Addo-Carr reaching a game-high speed of 36.3kph in pursuit, he was unable to catch him.
According to Telstra Tracker data, Holmes recorded a speed of 35.2kph to keep ahead of Addo-Carr, and the top three speeds of the match recorded by the pair and Tedesco were faster than any player ran in last year's Origin series.
The Maroons' other try resulted from a clever grubber kick by halfback Ben Hunt behind Addo-Carr and into the NSW in-goal, which was pounced on by winger Dane Gagai to put his side ahead for the first time in the 43rd minute.
The concern for NSW coach Brad Fittler at halftime would have been that his team only led 8-6 after being so dominant for much of the first term but they quickly responded to Gagai's try with two of their own through centre Latrell Mitchell and winger Tom Trbojevic.
Queensland worked hard in defence but they rarely troubled the Blues with the ball and that will be the area coach Kevin Walters seeks to improve for the next match in Sydney on June 24 as the Maroons look to keep the series alive.
Maloney, who has come under criticism for missing the most tackles in the NRL, came up with just one miss in a performance in which he threw an intercept and a forward pass but finished with three try assists to steer the Blues home.
Game I is done and dusted! Don’t miss Game II of Origin at ANZ Stadium on Sunday 24 June. Click here to get your tickets