Lockyer fairytale unfolding - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Lockyer fairytale unfolding

By Wayne Heming 26/05/2010 11:31:50 PM Comments (0)

The Darren Lockyer Origin fairytale is unfolding to script after Mal Meninga's maroon marvels opened the 2010 State of Origin series with a commanding 28-24 first game win at ANZ Stadium on Wednesday night.

Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston was magnificent and after his third man-of-the-match performance in the opening game of the series suggested the scene was now set to farewell Lockyer in style at a packed Suncorp Stadium next month.

Thurston had a hand in all of Queensland's five tries, prompting a Wally Lewis-like comparison from former NSW forward Steve "Blocker" Roach who was commentating on the game.

After reeling five metres backwards out of a full blooded collision with Blues winger Jarryd Hayne in the opening minutes, the North Queensland halfback took control with a performance that anointed him as Lockyer's successor.

Thurston said now the onus would be on securing Lockyer a dream finish to his Queensland career.

"That would be nice," said Thurston.

"It could be a fairytale for him.

"I don't think there's a better bloke who deserves to be sent out like that."

Thurston didn't have to wait long for the Blues to test out his shoulder with Hayne charging straight at him with the ball in the opening minutes.

"I knew it was coming as soon as he eyeballed me," laughed Thurston, who bounced back from the big hit in style.

His banana kick off the outside of his boot for fullback Billy Slater to score a magical try just before half time was all class from both players.

Slater said afterwards he let Thurston know he was ready for the bending kick which he deftly scooped off the slippery ground to score.

"He's a good talker Bill, he lets you know where he's going to be on the field and you just have to put the ball there and he'll pick it up," said Thurston.

It's been a rough time for Thurston who missed Australia's Test win earlier this month because of his latest shoulder injury.

"It's just good to get a result," he said, surprised to learn it was his third man-of-the-match win in an opening game of the series.

"I haven't had much to celebrate this year."

Thurston said his forwards, led magnificently again by veteran Petero Civoniceva and youngster Dave Shillington and Matt Scott, had won the battle up the middle against the Blues who face making several changes across the park for the second game in Brisbane.

He also said Lockyer's kicking game, after some early misses, was spot on in giving Queensland the better field position for much of the game.

"He's just such a great player when the pressure is on," he said.

Asked if NSW would have to make changes, he shrugged his shoulders and said: "I don't really care.

"I think we've got the side to win the series."

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