Queensland Maroons

Queensland Maroons hold on to win thrilling Origin decider

First-half tries to Valentine Holmes and Edrick Lee gave the Maroons the half-time lead.

New South Wales' chances were dealt a severe blow when captain James Tedesco was forced from the field mid-way through the first half with a head knock.

The Maroons dominated the second half with a penalty and a try to debutant Harry Grant.

The Blues were let down by some poor discipline, conceding six penalties and three ruck infringements.

This is the Maroons first title since 2017 and also coach Wayne Bennett's first since 2001.

Maroons’ Game I hero forced into change; Foxx firms for Blues

Kurt Capewell will to start in the back row, with Edrick Lee and Valentine Holmes on the wings, Corey Allan at fullback and Dane Gagai and Brenko Lee in the centres.

“Cameron (Munster) passed everything and we’re very satisifed with where he’s at,” Bennett said.

“We won’t know until this morning to see if he (Xavier Coates) can train. He’s 50/50 at the moment.

“Edrick Lee will come in.”

“We’ll get (Brenko Lee) through training today, we’re confident we’ll do that. He was good on Sunday, so pretty confident he’ll play.”

State of Origin: Queensland beat New South Wales 18-14 in opening game

The Blues, who have won the last two series, started brightly and opened up a 10-0 lead at the interval after tries from Damien Cook and Josh Addo-Carr.

Queensland hit back after the break as Alex Brimson, Xavier Coates and Cameron Munster crossed the whitewash.

Addo-Carr added a late second try, but the Maroons held on in Adelaide.

NSW won back-to-back series for the first time since 2005 last year, but they lost momentum after the break as Queensland came out inspired by their half time team-talk from former England coach Wayne Bennett.

Coates set to make his debut for Queensland Maroons

Results confirmed the good news for Coates and the Maroons released a statement to say he had "shown significant improvement" and their medical staff anticipate he will be fit to play on Wednesday.

The young Bronco suffered shoulder damage at training on Sunday.

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans earlier said he was confident Coates would be able to take his place and wanted to give him as much time as possible to prove his fitness.

Coates was one of eight rookies named to make his debut in the Ampol State of Origin series opener on Wednesday night in Adelaide.

Ponga's surgery call delayed as Maroons brace for withdrawal

A final call on Ponga's availability for the Maroons will be delayed until after the gun No.1 has a labral tear in his left shoulder assessed by a specialist, with Newcastle players undergoing end-of-season medicals on Tuesday.

Queensland are yet to name the initial members of their 27-man Origin squad and they will likely make that announcement later this week.

Titans livewire AJ Brimson looms as the most likely fullback replacement option if Ponga is unavailable, while Cameron Munster and Moses Mbye have also had plenty of experience at the back in previous NRL seasons.

Queensland legend Alfie Langer lampoons Kevin Walters' 'Coach Whisperer'

Walters has been accused of everything from putting on an act to losing the plot since spruiking mind coach Bradley Charles Stubbs' philosophy in the lead-up to Wednesday's Origin I at Suncorp Stadium.

Gone is Queensland's much loved underdog tag.

Now Walters is telling anyone who will listen that the Maroons "will win" game one while stubbornly refusing to acknowledge who they are even playing.

It's in keeping with the lessons detailed in Stubbs' $5500 an hour "Expect to Win" sessions, where it is a big no no to say the rival's name.

Maroons Origin team: Emotional Walters names new faces, declares 'war'

The Maroons coach said debutants Moses Mbye, Joe Ofahengaue and David Fifita had earned their jerseys and would do the state proud as his eyes glazed over with the passion and emotion that has defined his tenure in charge of the Maroons.

Broncos forwards Ofahengaue and Fifita will come off the bench, as will Mbye with the Wests Tigers skipper beating Anthony Milford to the vital utility spot.

“I'm ready, we are ready. This is war,” Walters said.

Maroons name State of Origin I team

1. Billy Slater
2. Valentine Holmes
3. Greg Inglis (c)
4. Will Chambers
5. Dane Gagai
6. Cameron Munster
7. Ben Hunt
8. Dylan Napa
9. Andrew McCullough
10. Jarrod Wallace
11. Gavin Cooper
12. Felise Kaufusi
13. Josh McGuire

14. Michael Morgan
15. Josh Papalii
16. Coen Hess
17. Jai Arrow

Coach: Kevin Walters

Gagai creates Queensland history

Awarded to the player of the series, Gagai became the first winger to win the award, breaking down in tears on stage as he accepted the honour.

It was well deserved, with Gagai clearly the best from either side for the series after running for a series-high 577 metres and scoring two tries across the three games.

Speaking to NRL.com in the dressing sheds after the match, Gagai said the award would be something he would always treasure.

"I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed. I haven’t really won anything like this before, especially at this level of football," Gagai said.

JT providing extra motivation for Maroons

Thurston's State of Origin farewell has been ruined by a shoulder injury, with the 34-year-old missing what was set to be his last match in Maroon on Wednesday night. 

The season-ending injury was a cruel finish to a decorated Origin career that began way back in 2005 and included 36 straight matches for Queensland. 

Despite putting so much on the line for the Maroons over the years, the man many refer to as 'the GOAT' will not let Wednesday be about him, turning down the offer of a lap of honour before the match.