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Baby Blues beat Holmes’s Maroons

He ran for a team-high 223 metres, put his team back in the contest with a length of the field intercept try in the first half and dispelled any fears about his ability to kick goals when he slotted one over from the sideline, however despite the efforts of Valentine Holmes, it wasn't enough to get the Queenslanders home.

Holmes had his moments, not all his way with the Blues opposite Tom Trbojevic jumping over him for the third NSW try, but all in all it was a wholehearted effort from the lone Sharks participant in Origin game one.

In a match the ebbed and flowed, the young NSW side led early, gave up their advantage after half time, but came back strongly, turning a 12-8 deficit into a 22-12 win.

Blues fullback James Tedesco was a unanimous man-of-the-match, Tom Trbojevic and NSW hooker Damian Cook not far behind as NSW took a one-nil lead in the 2018 Origin series.

As for the Maroons, Holmes had a better first half than second, certainly earning a pass mark for his efforts, with skipper Greg Inglis arguably Queensland's best.

Following the opener last night in neutral territory at the MCG in Melbourne, the series now moves to Sydney on Sunday, June 24, with NSW provided the perfect opportunity to end the Queensland dominance.

While Holmes appears a lock to get another opportunity in game two, with NSW selectors unlikely to be keen to make too many changes to a winning line up.

From a Sharks perspective, Wade Graham shapes as a potential replacement should injury or form intervene, however the backrower has himself been disrupted by injury, with his focus sure to be on getting some consistent game time under his belt at club level.

Josh Dugan is likely to be sidelined in the lead up to game two, ruling him out of contention, while Tedesco at the back was brilliant and halves James Maloney and Nathan Cleary did enough to suggest Matt Moylan will need to bide his time and continue to deliver at a club level.

The second game of the Origin series is set down for ANZ Stadium on Sunday, June 24, with teams to be selected on the Monday following the completion of round 15 of the NRL.

The Sharks play the Broncos at Southern Cross Group Stadium on Saturday, June 16 in their round 15 clash.

Acknowledgement of Country

Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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