NSW star James Tedesco said wearing very tight and fitted jerseys helped his team clinch Wednesday night’s State of Origin opener.
Fullback Tedesco scored the opening try and then set up two others as the Blues won 22-12 at the MCG in front of more than 87,000 fans.
The man of the match showcased his dazzling speed and footwork in the try that sealed the match, bursting out of dummy half and creating a huge overlap in the Queensland defence – one that Josh Addo-Carr eventually benefited from.
Recalling the play, Tedesco said he was sure his jersey had an impact in the play.
“When there was a quick play-the-ball, ‘Freddy’ [NSW coach Brad Fittler] encouraged us to take them on,” Tedesco told the Nine Network.
“I saw a bit of lazy work from marker so I thought I’d take them on.
“I’ve got to thank ‘Freddy’ for the tight jerseys. They couldn’t tackle me.”
Expanding further on the shirts, Tedesco said: “He [Fittler] got us all to get them fitted a bit tighter and I think it helped.
“They couldn’t grab the jerseys and I think all the boys got benefits from it.”
Little calls can go against you: Walters
Queensland coach Kevin Walters refused to be too critical of the referees after a call went against Dane Gagai early in the second half.
The Maroons led 12-8 when, according to the officials, Gagai lost the ball in a tackle from Angus Crichton.
A penalty was given and the Blues scored straight away, before adding another try just four minutes later.
Walters was quizzed about the decision, which helped give the Blues momentum, but he said: “Those little calls go your way and go against you.
“On this occasion, it could’ve gone either way. It went New South Wales’ way and then we just weren’t quite good enough to defend that set.”
NSW coach Fittler said the decision was clear cut.
“He dropped the ball. He should have been better,” he said.
“I don’t think there were many things the referees had to rule on.”
Just five penalties were given in the match, with NSW getting four.