Rugby League

Maroons hammer 12-man Blues in series opener

June 6, 2024 12:10 am

[Source: NRL/Facebook]

A record-equaling effort from Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow helped the Maroons draw first blood in the 2024 Origin series, as they overwhelmed a gutsy 12-man Blues side 38-10 to claim Game One in Sydney.

The contest was turned on its head just eight minutes in when New South Wales debutant Joseph-Aukuso Sua’ali’i became the fastest player in Origin history to be sent off, after he made contact with the head of Reece Walsh with a hit which later saw the Maroons fullback ruled out due to a head knock.

Already down 6-0 at that point, it created a hill far too big for the home side to climb, with Queensland targeting the left centre spot Sua’ali’i with success.

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By full-time Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow had equaled the mark for most tries in a single Origin game, with a try in the shadows of full-time coming after a brace in the space of six minutes in the first half.

The quickfire double from ‘The Hammer’, coupled with Ben Hunt’s opening try and a penalty goal from Valentine Holmes, gave the Maroons a healthy 20-6 advantage at the half, but it was proving to be far from a walk in the park.

On the back of recalled fullback James Tedesco’s effort on 14 minutes, Zac Lomax marked his state debut by climbing high to claim a bomb and score just four minutes into the second stanza, which reduced the deficit to 10.

As the arm wrestle intensified a few blades of grass dictated which way momentum headed, with Xavier Coates preventing a 40/20 kick with a tip-toe effort, minutes before Daly Cherry-Evans got one just right at the other end to give his side the field position advantage.

The Maroons had two try claims ruled out by the Bunker before Hunt eventually struck a telling blow with his second on 67 minutes, which came after an initial break from Selwyn Cobbo.

Tabuai-Fidow’s third and a sixth conversion added by Holmes ended the scoring at 38-10.