Blues throw away certain victory
It was played in the City of Churches - and Queensland produced a holy miracle.
The Maroons never lost faith - this was a modern day miracle.
Queensland shocked NSW with an upset 18-14 at Adelaide Oval on Wednesday night, the Blues now having to win State of Origin II at Sydney's ANZ Stadium next Wednesday night to keep the series alive.
It was a horror second half with NSW capitulating after leading 10-0 at halftime.
Bloody Queensland, you can never write them off. The Maroons were solid $3.30 outsiders for a match most anticipated would be a Blues bash up.
It was even suggested this was the worst Queensland side in 40-years of Origin.
Three second half tries - 18 unanswered points - pushed Queensland to one of the state's most famous and remarkable victories.
It was a miraculous coaching achievement from master coach Wayne Bennett and his assistant Mal Meninga.
Benny's Babes simply ran over the top of NSW. The Blues look rattled at Queensland's comeback.
Three Queensland tries in 16 minutes stunned rugby league, shocked the Blues and surprised the Adelaide crowd.
A second try to NSW's Josh Addo-Carr set up a thrilling finish but Queensland held on tenaciously, despite the Blues hammering Queensland's tryline on full time. For the final 12 seconds, Queensland lost Felise Kaufusi to the sin bin.
As always, Origin went down to the final second.
There was no hint of a courageous Queensland comeback during a NSW-dominated first half. The Blues threw away what was a certain victory.
Just when you think Queensland is about to lose Origin relevance, they come back to bite you in the backside.
A COVID-reduced Adelaide crowd of 25,218 attended the first-ever Origin match in South Australia, thousands decked out in the traditional sky blue of NSW and maroon of Queensland.
Given this is AFL heartland, the crowd was noisy, lively and bustling. They even threw up the 'Queenslander, Queenslander' chant.
Disjointed in the first half, Queensland flourished in the second 40 minutes and looked dangerous each time in possession.
NSW coach Brad Fittler must somehow pick up the broken pieces.
He only has seven days to transform a gutted NSW side into an Origin force for a do-or-die match in front of their Sydney home crowd.
Fittler sat sideline for the match - watching his side fall away from close range. How he reinvigorates his side will be Fittler's greatest test.
Here how it unfolded.
50 mins: Kurt Capewell breaks through, kicks ahead, AJ Brimson scores. NSW 10-6.
54 mins: Dane Gagai breaks away and sends Xavier Coates over. Queensland 12-10.
66 mins: Cam Munster toes through a loose NSW pass to score. Qld 18-10.
It was an Adelaide nightmare for NSW. Capewell and Gagai were superb while Queensland hooker Jake Fried made 52 tackles.
The Adelaide crowd sang Advance Australia Fair loud and proud - as did nearly every Queensland player. Most NSW players sang other than Daniel Tupou, Cody Walker and Addo-Carr.
State of Origin returned last night after a 483-day absence - the longest break in the series' 40-year history.
Originally published as Blues throw away certain victory