Dane Gagai dives to score
NSW v Qld State of Origin rugby league match at ANZ Stadium, Homebush Sydney Australia. Wednesday 1 June 2016. Photo: Paul Seiser / www.photosport.nz

Queensland has the vital edge after a 6-4 win over New South Wales in last night's gruelling opening match of the 2016 State of Origin series in Sydney.

Among a host of outstanding individual efforts, Maroons second rower Matt Gillett was the man of the match.

Both teams were superb defensively in a contest dictated by a heavy surface at ANZ Stadium.

Leading the tackling numbers were rival hookers Cameron Smith with 53 tackles and Robbie Farah with 51. Gillett made 42 tackles.

The closeness of the match was reflected in the key team stats.

Penalties were shared 4-4 while the Blues completed 35 of 41 sets (85%) and the Maroons 33 of 40 (83%).

In the metres gained catergory, New South Wales made 1543 metres from 193 runs, Queensland 1561 metres from 184 carries.

There were just three line breaks - 2-1 to Queensland - while the home side made 332 tackles, the visitors 353. The Blues missed 24 tackles, the Maroons 22 and New South Wales made eight errors, Queensland nine.