NEW South Wales have taken a deserved halftime lead in the State of Origin game one in Brisbane.
Tries to James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce gave the Blues a 12-4 lead after a thrilling first half.
New South Wales claimed the first try after six minutes when Sharks five-eighth James Maloney scored his second career try, sweeping in under the cross bar. He converted his own try, which came moments after Queensland went close only for Corey Oates to just miss placing the ball as he chased a grubber in goal.
Andrew Fifita set up the Maloney try with a superb offload to his club teammate.
In a thrilling first half, the Blues came close to extending their lead on several occasions before Queensland scored against the run of play.
It came in the 36th minute when Cronk placed a perfect cross field pass for Oates to gobble up and cross for his second career try in Origins.
But in the minute before halftime the Blues went further ahead as Pearce exploded through to score under the cross bar.
CHANNEL 9 and the NRL have confirmed that a man of the match award will be handed out after Origin I, correcting rumours that grew in the hours leading up to kick off that the award had been scrapped.
Alarmed bookmakers were informed early on Wednesday afternoon that the award would not be handed out until Origin III.
However, by 4.30pm that call had been reversed, with the NRL confirming a man of the match award would be announced over the loudspeaker at Suncorp Stadium, with the Australia Test selectors to vote on the winner.
Channel 9 subsequently confirmed that the winner of the award would be interviewed in its post-match coverage.
That news came as a huge relief to bookmakers, with the Man of the Match market one of Origin's most popular with punters.
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