Queensland belief shines through in classic State of Origin victory | Matt Cleary

The Maroons held on, returned serve, never panicked and never gave up as they roared back in the second half at Suncorp Stadium

State of Origin rugby league is intense. It is physical, high-pressure and largely risk-free, but actually not that “entertaining”, at least early, in terms of funky skills. It’s certainly no expression session. But it is an expression of desire, and in front of a pulsating crowd of 51,191 fans at Suncorp Stadium, Queensland wanted Game 1 of State of Origin 2019 that bit more.

Pre-match, Maroons coach Kevin Walters had been ridiculed – even asked if he’d lost the plot – for his “un-Queensland” belief that his team was going to win. It didn’t suit some Queenslanders’ underdog mentality. But it didn’t have to – Walters’ team kept on playing, believing, throwing passes, tackling and backing their teammates until they ran out deserved 18-14 winners.

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