Nearly 90,000 fans packed into the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Wednesday, June 6 for the opening contest in the 2018 State of Origin Series.
Brimming with excitement and composure, Manning products Boyd Cordner and Latrell Mitchell took the field in what was regarded as one of the most intriguing matches between NSW and Queensland.
Right from the opening set, Cordner was right into the action. A strong hit up inside the Blues 20 metre set the tone for the Blues skipper.
Cordner finished the game with the most running metres for a forward with 156 and produced a game high 21 runs.
Then there was Mitchell.
The 20-year-old, who was on debut, was always close to the action.
A brief tussle with opposite centre Will Chambers just before half time showed what donning the blue jersey meant to him.
Latrell finished the game with 11 tackle busts, one line break and one try.
He almost bagged a brace of tries but was held up just centimetres from the turf.
The duo look certain to remain in coach Brad Fittler’s squad for game two on June 24 in Sydney based on their performances.
Both are set to return to club side the Roosters for their clash with the Knights on Saturday.
NSW 22 (J Tedesco, L Mitchell, T Trbojevic, J Addo-Carr tries, J Maloney 2 goals, J Maloney penalty goal) defeated Queensland 12 (V Holmes, D Gagai tries, V Holmes 2 goals).