Record-breaking Inglis gives Maroons victory
Greg Inglis became State of Origin's top try-scorer when he crossed for a controversial try to give Queensland an 18-10 victory in the first game of the series in Melbourne.by NRL
Greg Inglis became State of Origin's top try-scorer when he crossed for a controversial try to give Queensland an 18-10 victory in the first game of the series in Melbourne.
With Queensland clinging to a slender 12-10 lead seven minutes from full-time Inglis claimed a scrappy try from a Cooper Cronk bomb.
Maroons full-back Billy Slater knocked the ball down and as Inglis went to collect the ball Blues hooker Robbie Farah kicked it out of his hands before Inglis fell on the loose ball.
The video referee took an age to review the replays before awarding the match-winning try to Inglis.
Blues captain Paul Gallen protested to on-field referee Matt Cecchin after the try was awarded.
"How is that a try? That is ridiculous,'' Gallen could be heard protesting to Cecchin.
Johnathan Thurston converted the try to secure the victory for Queensland with only a few minutes remaining.
After the match Blues coach Ricky Stuart said he thought the Inglis try decision was correct.
"I think it was a try, actually," he said.
"They looked at it six, seven, eight times. I don't know if if was clear cut, but I knew they were going to give it a try."
But clearly frustrated, Stuart outlined he did not wish to discuss refereeing decisions.
"We won't be commentating on any decision in regards to the referees tonight," he said.
Queensland coach Mal Meninga and captain Cameron Smith were both adamant Inglis had scored a fair try.
"It was clear cut to me," Smith said.
Smith also paid credit to the class of Inglis to be able to break the Origin try-scoring record at just 25 years of age.
Inglis scored his 13th State of Origin try, breaking the record of former Queensland winger Dale Shearer.
"Its great to look up and know you have Greg Inglis in the centres," Smith said.
"It's a pretty good effort at 25-years-old to break the Origin try-scoring record."
New South Wales had battled hard throughout the match including bouncing back from a first-half setback that saw them reduced to 12 men when Michael Jennings was sent to the sin-bin.
A melee broke out in the 22nd minute after Blues second rower Greg Bird responded to having the ball thrown at the back of his head by opponent Nate Myles.
Blues players came running in including Jennings flying in late over the top of the brawl. Jennings was penalised and sent to the sin-bin.
Jennings has been charged with a grade 1 contrary conduct charge and faces a one-week suspension.
Video: A brawl erupts in the first-half (ABC News)
Blues second rower Glenn Stewart felt several close refereeing decisions went against the Blues.
"You create your own luck but I felt like a couple of times there we weren't getting the 50-50 calls," Stewart said.
Stuart did not wish to elaborate but suggested Jennings was unlucky to go to the bin and his actions stood out more than they should have.
"I wasn't disappointed by the fight but I just wish there more players involved," he said.
Blues scored first points
First points went to New South Wales in the sixth minute through a try to winger Akuila Uate off a Farah bomb into the corner that Maroons winger Darius Boyd could not hang on to.
The Blues paid dearly for the loss of Jenning to the sin-bin when a minute later Boyd went over in the left corner after quick hands from Cronk and Slater.
Thurston's sideline conversion put Queensland ahead 6-4.
New South Wales put themselves under pressure late in the second half with a series of mistakes.
In the 32nd minute Todd Carney failed to find touch from a penalty. Three minutes later Carney lost the ball before playing it and in the 38th minute Bird was penalised for a lifting tackle on Cronk.
Queensland capitalised a minute later when Boyd scored again in the corner when Thurston sucked in Uate and Josh Morris, giving Boyd an unchecked passage to the line.
Thurston again converted from the touch line to give Queensland a 12-10 lead at half-time.
Jennings took a step towards redemption when he scored off a Mitchell Pearce bomb four minutes into the second half.
Carney converted to take the score to 12-10 in favour of the Maroons.
Carney attempted to level the scores with a 40-metre penalty kick for goal in the 52nd minute but the shot was wide.
Blues full-back Brett Stewart was denied a try in the 59th minute when Sam Thaiday just won the race to the ball when Jennings kicked into the in-goal after a run down the touch line.
Queensland: 18 (D Boyd 2, G Inglis tries; J Thurston 3 goals)
New South Wales: 10 (A Uate, M Jennings; T Carney goal)
Source: ABC Sport
Audio: State of Origin I: Highlights (ABC News)
Audio: Interview: Sam Thaiday (ABC News)
Audio: Interview: Cooper Cronk (ABC News)
Audio: Interview: Glenn Stewart (ABC News)
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