Sterlo hit Freddy with both barrels!
NSW coach Brad Fittler has reminded Blues players they have let big State of Origin wins go to waste before, urging them to finish the job in Brisbane.
Almost as soon as Wednesday night’s 50-6 drubbing of Queensland was over, Fittler was reminding them it’d mean little if they didn’t back it up.
And he has every right to point that out.
In each of the last four years the Blues have had the biggest winning margin in any game of the series, but they have lifted the Shield twice.
Just last year they flogged the Maroons 34-10 in Game 2 in Sydney, but backed it up with a shock 20-14 loss in the decider at Suncorp.
Likewise, they only managed to sneak home with a James Tedesco buzzer-beater in the 2019 decider after putting the cleaners through Queensland in Perth a few weeks earlier.
More Origin 1
» REACTION: Maroons are headed for a 3-0 Blue-wash after insipid Game 1 display
» MAROONS PLAYER RATINGS: Queensland struggle all across the park
» BLUES PLAYER RATINGS: Turbo stars but all NSW players dominate
» All the talking points from State of Origin 1
» AS IT HAPPENED: Game 1 scores, highlights, result and blog
» Team news for NSW and Queensland ahead of Origin 2
Which is why Fittler scoffed at the suggestion the scoreline meant his team couldn’t lose the series from here, or that Wednesday’s win was better than the previous record of 56-16 from 2000.
“This is Game 1, I think that one was Game 3 so it’s a big difference,” Fittler said.
“We have had a convincing win every year.
“I’m quite aware winning a game by 50 here in the first game doesn’t mean anything.”
History is also against the Blues in Queensland.
They’ve lost their last four games at Suncorp Stadium, and haven’t wrapped up a series win there since the 2005 decider.
“We haven’t won (any game) at Suncorp for three years now,” Fittler said.
“That’s the challenge. This (Game 1) is over now so the challenge is Suncorp. That’s the goal ahead of us.”
Fittler’s message has struck a chord with players as they attempt to go against more than 15 years of pain at the ground.
“They (Queensland) are going to be hurting, they will be a different team Game 2,” captain Tedesco said.
“Last year we lost Game 1 and came out firing Game 2 so I’m sure it will be similar.
“It’s going to be at Suncorp as well which is always a tough task.
“It’s going to be a challenge. I know it was a convincing win but, as Freddy said, we have to win two more.”
Meanwhile, the Maroons are also happy to take some kind of solace from the way they have turned things around quickly in previous years.
“I know the scoreline reflects pretty poorly on us but it is only 1-0,” captain Daly Cherry-Evans.
“But we’ll get it right, sort it out and go back to our clubs and start building it back together.”