Missed field goal not to blame for Blues defeat

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    In what will only twist the knife for NSW fans, Blues assistant Nathan Brown has revealed Trent Hodkinson hardly missed in field goal practise ahead of the State of Origin opener.

    However, Brown said Josh Dugan’s much maligned missed field goal had distracted critics from what really went wrong for NSW in last week’s 11-10 Origin I loss to Queensland.

    The knives were out for the Blues after captain Robbie Farah inexplicably overlooked halfback Hodkinson and threw the ball to Dugan in field goal position with Queensland ahead 11-10 in Origin I’s dying moments.

    History shows Dugan sprayed his shot wide as Hodkinson looked on helplessly, putting Queensland in the box seat to reclaim the Origin trophy.

    Brown insisted they had practised field goals at training ahead of Origin I – and that Hodkinson had rarely missed.

    “They certainly did and Hodgo kicked the goal at training too on a number of occasions as he generally does,” Brown told NRL HQ on the NRL website.

    “Unfortunately he didn’t get the ball on this occasion which he was in a nice position to.

    “And you’d back him with his track record if he got the ball he’d kick the field goal.

    “I thought Duges’ attempt off the cuff under pressure was a fair crack.”

    However, Brown said critics should not pin the loss on Dugan’s failed attempt.

    “We can’t mask what was the worst part of NSW’s performance and that was turning over cheap possession and cheap penalties which allowed them to be under a lot of pressure,” he said.

    “If we had done better in that area the field goal wouldn’t have been as important because I feel we could have scored another try.

    “So the field goal has probably taken the heat away from where NSW let themselves down a little.”

    Hodkinson is under pressure to keep his spot for Origin II in Melbourne on June 17.

    © AAP 2017