Maroons legend’s bizarre Origin claim
FORMER Queensland star Ben Ikin has made the surprising claim Queensland were the better side in Wednesday night's Origin I despite losing to NSW by 10 points.
The rattled Maroons, void of their legendary Big Four for the first time in recent memory, fought through a gruelling contest against NSW's rejuvinated roster featuring 11 debutants fresh to the Origin stage.
The Blues played to their plan, won the big moments and sealed the key victory before the pivotal Game II clash at home in Sydney on June 24.
But according to the former Maroons five-eighth, Greg Inglis' men were the better side at the MCG.
Ikin, who played 17 games for Queensland, claimed the numbers on the board weren't indicative of the quality of football played in the 2018 series opener.
"I actually think NSW were only the better team because they got the result," Ikin said.
"I watched a bit of the game back this morning and it seems to me that Queensland produced enough good football to get the win. They threw plenty at NSW.
"But the tone of the game for me was almost like the opposite it'd been for the best part of 12 years, in that Queensland had been fantastic in absorbing all these questions that NSW used to ask.
"They've always fielded a team that has had a lot of arsenal, and last night I saw Queensland sort of play that role, threw a whole stack of good footy at NSW and they just absorbed, absorbed, absorbed.
"When (NSW) created their own opportunities up the other end of the field, they grabbed them.
"You often hear great Origin commentators, ex-players and coaches talk about winning the moments, and NSW won the moments, they won more than Queensland and that's why they came away with the victory."