State of Origin 3: Absolute carnage as stars knocked out in chaotic start, Selwyn Cobbo, Cameron Murray, Lindsay Collins

Rugby league legends were left stunned as the State of Origin decider began in frenetic fashion as several players were knocked out.

There was absolute carnage as the State of Origin decider got off to a frenetic start at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday.

Three players were ruled out of the game in the opening minutes following some brutal collisions as NSW and Queensland brought the heat early.

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Blues second rower Cameron Murray was the first victim after a head clash with a charging Corey Oates.

Murray was left dazed on the ground and referee Ashley Klein stopped the game immediately with concern for the Rabbitohs star.

Not even a minute later, Maroons young gun Selwyn Cobbo appeared to be knocked out as well after catching the hip of Maroons teammate Patrick Carrigan in some friendly fire.

There was immediate concern as the Queensland staff called for a stretcher.

Cameron Smith called the opening two minutes “all out warfare”, while Channel 9 commentator Mat Thompson was stunned by the impacts.

“The intensity is remarkable,” he said.

“Selwyn Cobbo, some obvious concern as is the case when there’s any issues with the head or there’s any issues with the head or the neck region. All the Queensland medical staff having a look and they are asking for the stretcher.”

In good signs, Cobbo was helped to his feet but taken from the field in a medicab wearing a neck brace.

Tom Gilbert came on for Cobbo.

Queensland’s Lindsay Collins was the next to need to go for a HIA, just over three and a half minutes into the game when he was left stunned as Gilbert knocked Blues winger Daniel Tupou straight into his Maroons teammate.

Andrew Johns said he hadn’t seen a start to a game like this, “Not for a long time”.

“This is a throwback to the ‘80s,” he said.

Both Cobbo and Collins were ruled out with Category 1 head injuries as well.

Category 1 means a player can’t return to the game and indicates a loss of consciousness, lack of protective action when falling to the ground, confusion or disorientation, or motor incoordination.

If the Maroons lose one more player to concussion protocols, 18th man Thomas Flegler will be activated.

Valentine Holmes opened the scoring after Queensland debutant Tom Dearden put him through a hole with a superb pass.

NSW responded soon after as five-eighth Jarome Luai chased down a kick and just managed to ground it before the dead ball line.

Originally published as ‘Throwback to the ‘80s’: State of Origin carnage as three stars knocked out