Brad “Freddy” Fittler’s tactic of picking 11 debutants for Origin one at the MCG last night paid off handsomely with a 22-12 victory over Queensland. Before the game there were question marks over the defence of some of the New South Welshmen, but they stood up well with the Maroons two tries scored off an intercept and an inch perfect kick.
James Tedesco was the deserved man of the match in a backline that shone all night. Tedesco scored the first try supporting a run from Damian Cook (via a pass from James Maloney) and set up the second for Latrell Mitchell. The final try, to Josh Addo-Carr, was also sparked by a break from the Blues fullback, who was controversially left out of Australia’s World Cup squad late last year.
The third try was scored by Tom Trbojevic, who had a very impressive debut. Despite being monstered by several big tackles from Greg Inglis, “Turbo” continued to run the ball well and was very solid under a Queensland kicking assault. His try was one worthy of the MCG, with a huge leap to snatch the ball out of Valentine Holmes hands landing over the line.
New captain Greg Inglis was the best player for the Maroons in Origin one, putting some monster hits on Trbojevic and rookie half Nathan Cleary in defence. He was also effective with ball in hand, but his teammates were unable to capitalise on his half breaks.
On a night with both sides transitioning into a new era Queensland struggled for fluency in both attack and defence. They made metres with the ball in hand, but failed to break the line. In defence they contained the Blues forwards, but couldn’t cope with the speed of Cook and Tedesco up the middle as they were torn apart to miss 53 tackles. Tedesco managed 16 of those on his own to match the record for most individual tackle busts in an Origin game.
He cheekily credited the new skin-tight jerseys ordered by coach Fittler for a lot of the misses, claiming that the Queenslanders couldn’t hold on in Origin one. If that’s true, “Turbo” might want to paint his on next time he runs at Inglis.