State of Origin: Queensland snatch series lead with late comeback in opener against NSW at Adelaide

Queensland have stunned State Origin rivals New South Wales, pulling off a remarkable 26-18 comeback to win the opening game of the three-game series at Adelaide Oval.

Tries by centre Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and five-eighth Cameron Munster in the final moments propelled the Maroons to a victory that seemed highly unlikely, ravaged by injury and with forward Tom Flegler in the sin bin.

Queensland did everything right in the opening stages, scoring twice within the first 12 minutes to lead 10-6 at halftime, before tries from New South Wales on either side of the break saw them slide into the lead. 

Selwyn Cobbo scores a try for Queensland
Selwyn Cobbo scores a try for Queensland. Photo credit: Getty Images

"I was pretty excited, we had a bad start and we just kept going and got to the front... and from there it went downhill," lamented NSW coach Brad Fittler. "The last 10 minutes when they were down to 12, we didn't handle that very well at all.

"It felt like we had enough opportunities to adapt and were a bit disappointed, because we had a lot of good ball."

Flegler was yellow-carded for a high shot on NSW centre Tom Trbojevic, who was ruled out with concussion, but with the odds stacked against them and trailling 16-18, Queensland mounted one of the great Origin fightbacks.

Tabuai-Fidow had his second try of the game, when Munster found him down the left touchline and marker Josh Addo-Carr missed a crucial tackle, allowing him to sprint 50 metres untouched.

Munster owed his clincher to prop Lindsay Collins, after half Daly Cherry-Evans put up a high kick near the tryline and Collins wrestled the ball from NSW captain James Tedesco, offloading for the try.

"We don't always win them, but we put ourselves in a position, because... that's a trait of a Queenslander," explained Maroons coach Billy Slater. "Queenslanders go through drought, they go through cyclones, they go through floods... they go through a lot of adversity.

"We try and represent our people in that way as well.I think that's what makes our people so proud of this footy team and why the footy team is such an inspiration for our people.

"We try and replicate the traits that Queenslanders have and that was on show tonight."

Game Two is in Brisbane in three weeks, but both teams are counting their wounded, with Queensland losing forward Tom Gilbert (shoulder), wingers Selwyn Cobbo (hip) and Murray Taulagi (concussion), and Trbojevic failing to finish for NSW. 

At the end of the contest, Maroons hooker Ben Hunt was positioned on the wing to make up numbers.

Queensland 26 (Tabuai-Fidow 2, Cobbo 2 & Munster tries; Holmes 3 conversions) New South Wales 18 (Martin, Koroisau & Crichton tries; Cleary 3 conversions)