State of Origin: Why Maroons are wrong to target Hayne

That victory was NSW biggest win ever in Origin history.

"The games were slow past year compared to usual Origin games".

"We've got so much respect for this great team, and I'd be disappointed if any of our boys felt that way because that's not where we're about". Nationwide, viewership spiked at 4.423 million viewers, compared to a peak of 4.046 million on Wednesday night.

"That's Laurie doing his best for NSW", Walters said.

Man-of-the-match Fifita was the quickest to react to Justin O'Neill's knock-on as he stretched the gap to 24-4 with a deserved try before Jarryd Hayne touched down in his first Origin match since returning to rugby league following a spell in NFL on 60 minutes.

Queensland have lost games over the past decade but never have they had as steep a hill to climb to bounce back in game two.

Queensland captain Cameron Smith did his best to sound positive after the match but conceded it was "Back to the drawing board".

He claimed 2016 series referees Ben Cummins and Sutton allowed Queensland to get away with murder in the play-the-ball and were allowed to turn all three games into boring slogs with little expansive play.

Thurston is arguably Queensland's most important player and that is why Walters is so hopeful that the 34-year-old will be right for Game Two.

The Maroons' ecstasy didn't last long, though, and after clawing back to 6-4, Pearce showed support nous to get on the end of Fifita's rampage down the left.

Its big men have got to do a real job.

The match between the Maroons and NSW Blues is a sell-out and kick-off is at 8pm.

The "Tosser" Turner Medal is one of Queensland's most prestigious awards.

What's scary for them is the host of fowards like Paul Vaughan, Trent Merrin, Jack de Belin and Shannon Boyd waiting in the wings should injury strike before game two.

Veterans Lillyman (78m) and Thaiday (47m) and out-of-sorts Roosters back-rower Guerra (79m) may also need to rely on yet more faith from the Queensland selectors.

Plenty had called for the sacking of at least some of the quartet to allow for the inclusion of the likes of Billy Slater, Coen Hess and Jarrod Wallace. They gave us nothing in the first half.

"There is some pressure on him, no doubt, it's Origin".

And this week, Queensland skipper Cameron Smith even addressed a possible player strike as the NRL pay dispute heats up.

In traffic, Fifita slipped a truly magic pass - just like Beetson - to Maloney, who slipped past Darius Boyd to score a super try.

Cooper Cronk will receive a rare honour tonight when he becomes just the 27th player to be awarded the Dick "Tosser" Turner Medal for making his 20th Origin appearance.

And in the halves, Queensland debutant Anthony Milford was muzzled, his night ending in misery in the 53rd minute when he departed with a head knock.

If one personal duel crystallised Origin I, it was Fifita's front-row battle with Myles.