Queensland will head to back to Brisbane with a 1-0 lead but that certainly does not guarantee the Maroons victory in three weeks time.
That is the feeling of record-breaking Queensland skipper Cameron Smith after leading his side to a grinding 6-4 win over NSW on Wednesday night.
The game was Smith’s 37th appearance for Queensland, making him the most capped player in Origin history.
Of the past 34 State of Origin series, the state that has won Game I has gone on to win the series 25 times.
While history may suggest Queensland are on their way to a 10th series win in 11 years, the Storm and Maroons skipper knows better than to take any win granted.
“I wouldn’t call it an advantage as such, it’s nice to be one-nil up and particularly being down here in Sydney… but that’s not going to help us win (Game II),” Smith said.
“You ask any player that plays in our competition they all love playing at Suncorp. It doesn’t matter whether we’ve got 50,000 Queenslanders there, it’s not going to make the Blues play any worse.
“They’ll be there, ready to play and they will be a lot better than they were tonight. It is nice to be one-nil up but if we think one-nil up is going to get us a victory we are going to get embarrassed.”
A try to Dane Gagai on the stroke of half-time gave the Maroons a 6-4 lead which they defended with their lives as the Blues threw everything at them in the second half.
Smith paid tribute to his side’s never-say-die attitude as they continued to deny the men in blue down the stretch.
“We play every minute of the game, we don’t look for a half-time or a full-time or any sort of period of the game where we get into a lull,” Smith said.
“We just play every moment which you need to do in this level of footy.”