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State of Origin Game 1 half time score: NSW 4-6 Queensland

The Roar The Roar 1/06/2016

Matt Gillett of the Maroons celebrates a try scored by Dane Gagai. © Cameron Spencer/Getty Images Matt Gillett of the Maroons celebrates a try scored by Dane Gagai. New South Wales have let a lead slip late in the first half of Game 1 of the 2016 State of Origin series, with the game poised at 4-6.

In a tough and testing first half, the two teams went into the sheds with the Maroons with their noses in front after a late try to the Maroons crossed in the corner through Dane Gagai.

The Blues were the first to cross the stripe through backrower Boyd Cordner, who struggled over after a strong period from NSW, but Gagai struck back for Queensland to combine with a penalty goal from Johnathan Thurston, who was one of the architects of his try to make the score 4-6 at half time.

The feeling in the match was evident from the very opening stages, with Johnathan Thurston and Blake Ferguson starting the first would-be scuffle in the opening two minutes.

There would be a bit of niggle throughout the game, with Ferguson often at the centre of it.

Queensland won the early possession and territory battle, with NSW making a couple of uncharacteristic errors through Josh Morris, along with a high tackle from Paul Gallen. It gifted the Maroons possession for set after set on the NSW line, which led to the first points of the game with Cameron Smith electing to take the two points after another penalty on the line, this time from James Maloney.

Johnathan Thurston made no mistake from the tee in the 15th minute, to give Queensland a 2-0 lead.

But things turned around quickly, and the Blues halves got it together after a shaky start.

After a sustained period of pressure from the Blues following a couple of Queensland penalties, it was Boyd Corner who would crash over to score after receiving a short ball from James Maloney.

It was due reward for the Blues for a couple of excellent kicks from their new halves combination Adam Reynolds and James Maloney that forced repeat sets on the Queensland line.

The Blues appeared to be getting the best of the arm wrestle element of the game, with their huge forward pack winning more collisions than they lost.

Queensland were hanging in, using their more mobile pack and their aggression to counter the Blues middle of the field tactics.

A mistake from the Blues opened up the opportunity for the Maroons, and with Cooper Cronk and Johnathan Thurston combining with Darius Boyd on the Maroons right edge to lay a try on for Dane Gagai who received the final pass from debutant centre Justin O’Neill.

It was an interesting half from the Maroons, who rarely went down the left hand side through Greg Inglis.

NSW focussed their attack through Robbie Farah, who directed the forwards around ably to win the arm wrestle.

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