Queensland (18) 28
Tries: Slater, Inglis 2, Thurston, Boyd Goals: Thurston 4
New South Wales (6) 18
Tries: Creagh, Wing, Hayne Goals: Gidley 2 Pens: Gidley
Centre Inglis was in sensational form for Queensland
Queensland survived a valiant fightback from New South Wales to win the opening game of the 2009 State of Origin series in Melbourne.
A Kurt Gidley penalty put NSW ahead but the Maroons responded with a brilliant trio of tries from Billy Slater, Greg Inglis and Johnathan Thurston.
Ben Creagh scored for NSW and Inglis crossed again for Queensland.
Tries from Craig Wing and Jarryd Hayne reduced the deficit to six points but Darius Boyd scored for the Maroons.
It was the first time an Origin match had been played in Melbourne - and the first time a state won has four successive matches after Queensland's 3-0 clean sweep last year.
The Maroons have a brilliant side, with an incredibly destructive backline rich in attacking brilliance - and they controlled long periods of the match.
But great credit must go to an inexperienced NSW side which included seven players that had not played in an Origin match before.
It looked at times as though they would fold under extreme pressure but they refused to be cowed and go into the next game with their spirit intact.
Indeed, they played most of the 20 minutes on the front foot and it was Mal Meninga's side who looked the most anxious to hear the final hooter before Boyd's last-gasp score sealed their victory.
The Blues had started the match with intent and aggression and almost followed captain Gidley's penalty with a try after Hayne burst brilliantly down the left touchline.
However, after a lengthy assessment by the video referee it was ruled out, with the official ruling that Hayne's foot had made contact with the touchline. It was a very marginal decision.
The Maroons then took control with three tries in seven breathtaking minutes of attacking football.
Slater burst through to touch down a Cameron Smith kick inches before the dead-ball line, Inglis barged over after a sweeping move from right to left and Thurston was the quickest to react to a kick from Israel Folau.
Thurston converted all three tries with awesome precision as Queensland threatened to take total control.
The Blues dug deep and almost scored through Luke O'Donnell but Slater made a superb last-ditch tackle and the visitors lost the ball.
NSW did score, however, when the impressive Hayne brilliantly threw an inside pass before he made contact with the touchline and Creagh touched down.
Gidley failed to land the conversion and after Thurston missed with a late drop-goal attempt, the score remained 18-6 at the break.
Queensland scored what initially appeared to be a decisive try after play resumed, with Inglis running most of the length of the field after collecting a long pass from Thurston.
It was a body blow to the Blues' hopes of a spectacular comeback, especially after Thurston converted from a wide position to put the home side 24-6 in front.
But NSW hung in and scored through Wing after he collected a pass from Luke Lewis following a kick over the top. A kick from Robbie Farrar then took a deflection that Farrar himself collected and passed for Hayne to score.
Gidley converted and with 10 minutes remaining, the Blues found themselves a converted try from levelling the scores.
But the experienced Queensland saw out the contest, with Boyd sealing victory with the last action of the match after collecting a pass from Inglis wide on the left.
Queensland: Slater, Boyd, Inglis, Hodges, Folau, Lockyer, Thurston, Price, Smith, Civoniceva, Harrison, Thaiday, Johnson.
Replacements: Hannant, Hunt, Myles, Crocker.
NSW: Gidley, McManus, Lyon, Jennings, Hayne, Campese, Wallace, Bailey, Farah, Kite, Creagh, O'Donnell, Lewis.
Replacements: Laffranchi, Wing, Poore, Weyman.