Latrell Mitchell mastered, blasted and only needed a bit of backfield chewing gum to confirm his status as rugby league's answer to Viv Richards.
Yet for every moment of Mitchell brilliance, fellow NSW makeshift centre of excellence Tom Trbojevic answered with his own magic and another Origin hat-trick as the pair tore Queensland to shreds in a record 50-6 triumph.
Repeatedly the regular No.1s turned Origin centres found themselves linking in the backline and by midway through the second half, they were laying on tries for each other.
Three first-half tries in nine blistering minutes set up the Blues' biggest winning margin in Origin history – their 44-point thumping trumping the famous 'hand grenade' 56-16 victory of 2000.
While Trbojevic roamed wherever he pleased – from left to right, first receiver to edge finisher – Mitchell produced the moments that mattered most when the game was still alive as a contest in front of a Maroon-washed 27,533-strong crowd.
Match: Maroons v Blues
Game 1 -
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
By the end of proceedings the pair finished with five tries between them on top of 14 tackle busts, three try assists and 376 running metres.
By the time Trbojevic popped up alongside Mitchell on the left edge in the 48th minute it had simply become part of the regular programming, with the Manly maestro grubbering for Mitchell to score and put to bed any thought of a Queensland comeback.
Fittler singles out Mitchell's best moments
Not even Trbojevic's teammates were safe from the destruction he left behind, with plenty of Nathan Cleary claret soaking into the Townsville turf courtesy of a stray Trbojevic elbow.
While Trbojevic went wherever he wanted Mitchell made the Blues' left edge his own, even if great mate Josh Addo-Carr and Brian To'o switched wings as a suspected pre-game Blues ruse came to be.
Back in sky blue for the first time since being controversially dumped after Origin I, 2019, the talk about Mitchell from NSW camp couldn't have been more effusive. Or ominous.
Latrell was back, swaggering and smiling.
Brakes on Turbo: DCE says Maroons must limit Tom's involvements
In the 15th minute the Blues weren't so much going nowhere as backwards in a real hurry.
It was Mitchell who stood tallest, producing an audacious 40-metre bust down the sideline that was equal parts tip-toeing ballerina and brutish strength as he swatted defenders away.
Let him play: Turbo's decision-making key to dominance
Coach Brad Fittler noted it as a game-turning moment, so too a crunching hit on Valentine Holmes leading into halftime.
There was no arguing when Trbojevic plated up points within two minutes of Mitchell's touchline theatrics.
“Latrell’s run early in the game where he went down the sideline, that was a big moment of the game," Fittler said.
"And his tackle where he came in as well. A couple of huge plays.
“He’s a good player, he does some great things on the field. It was awesome to have him out there.”
When Trbojevic was for once found in his slated right-centre position and with plenty of time and space poor old Kurt Capewell had no chance stopping the Blues thoroughbred.
As Immortal Andrew Johns pointed out in commentary, seems only those pesky Trbojevic hamstrings stand in his way.
"Where he could get in the game if he stays injury free is frightening," Johns said.
"He’s been on another planet tonight.”
With an 8-0 advantage courtesy of an early Cleary penalty goal, the Blues doubled down when Damien Cook sprinted into the backfield.
The Maroons found themselves caught short on the left this time, with pint-sized rookie To'o making the most of his switch of sides to tumble over for a 14-0 lead.
Tommy Turbo finds space on the edge for the first try
The Blues blitz only continued when Trbojevic lobbed on the left again, looming large in the 26th minute even when he didn't get his hands on the ball.
Instead it was Tariq Sims with a bit of brilliance. Standing in the tackle of Dane Gagai, the big man piloted a ball no-one thought he would – right across the face of Mitchell and a few Maroons for To'o to score untouched again.
As the Maroons dropped like flies, prop and defensive leader Christian Welch failed a HIA after just 12 minutes, while David Fifita also underwent his own first half assessment, Trbojevic's one blight gave Queensland rare cause for celebration.
Capewell was able to deliver a rare taste of Trbojevic's own medicine, some rarely seen footwork from the Panther leaving Turbo cooling his jets as the Maroons registered their first try.
But it proved just a blip in the Blues onslaught.
From a 20-6 half-time advantage NSW simply rolled on unabated, while Queensland only managed to land themselves on report – Moeaki Fotuaika, Kyle Feldt and Cameron Munster were all cited for late, dangerous or high contact.
Capewell gets one back on Trbojevic
Mitchell's second-half double and another two support tries to Trbojevic came as debutant Jarome Luai made himself more and more at home in the Origin arena.
Cleary meanwhile didn't miss all night off the tee, kicking nine goals from as many attempts, while his own in-play kicking game left the efforts offered up by Daly Cherry-Evans and Munster for dead.
In the 77th minute though with the half century raised came the play that had Fittler banging his coach's box desk in triumph.
Yeo with a huge Origin play
A forlorn Queensland crossfield kick sailed its way into the arms of Xavier Coates, who had flown high above To'o with a consolation try seemingly waiting to be scored.
Waiting for him to come down to earth though sat a small sky-blue army, with Isaah Yeo crunching Dane Gagai - on hand for the Coates bat-down - to save a try and thump the Maroons truly into submission.
In three weeks' time rookie coach Paul Green has to somehow lift his side up from six feet under at Suncorp. Or the Origin shield will be travelling back south, with a couple of No.1s front and centre.
Origin II in Brisbane is sold out but tickets are still on sale for game three at Stadium Australia in Sydney on July 14 - get your tickets NRL.com/tickets.