And so, as the prophecy foretold, it has come to this: sudden death, instant death, extremely painful and bloody death, if you will, it’s preliminary finals time of this our 2021 NRL Premiership.
Queensland coach Paul Green admitted his first Origin camp could have run differently after the side was beaten by a record margin in Townsville.
Green was left questioning his methods after Queensland suffered their biggest defeat in his State of Origin coaching debut.
The former North Queensland coach could only watch in horror as the Blues piled on eight tries in a 50-6 Townsville hiding that forced him to concede he could have done things differently.
With Kalyn Ponga an early camp casualty, Cameron Munster, Harry Grant and AJ Brimson nursing injuries and Dane Gagai battling tonsillitis it meant the squad didn’t train as a complete group until Sunday.
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“Obviously to rock up and play like we did tonight, we’ve got a few things wrong,” captain Daly Cherry-Evans said.
“Not just the execution tonight but probably in the way we prepared, so we’ve got a bit of time to think about it and the right people to fix it.”
Green admitted he would assess his own methods as part of a rigorous post-mortem before the sides meet again in Brisbane on June 27.
“It’s a new group in some respects, a new coach so what I might have let go through the week in terms of execution I may not have if I’d had a bit more experience with them,” he said.
“It’s about learning from it and making sure we don’t let it happen again.”
Green was disappointed the side looked for shortcuts after the Blues’ hot start.
“Once we felt uncomfortable in that position we tried to sort of trick our way out of it, which you can’t do in Origin,” he said.
“Where we needed to just tighten up and fight a bit harder we looked for an easy way out.”
No state has won a series 3-0 since Queensland in 2010, which is something Cherry-Evans can hang on to.
“It’s going to have to be the way we look at it,” he said.
“Tonight’s damage was pretty big, but it’s only 1-0 and it’s two games to go.
“We can turn the tide but they have a lot of momentum in their corner so we have a lot of work to do.”