Smashed by New South Wales 38-6 in State of Origin II, Queensland skipper Daly Cherry-Evans says it’s an “easy fix” to reset and take the series decider.
“We didn’t show up with the right intent to play footy tonight,” Cherry-Evans told Channel Nine in Perth after the thumping.
“Probably there was a chance to salvage it after half-time. Unfortunately we played even worse to start that second half.
“The best part about it, it is an easy fix and we get another chance … you really do have to make sure you address it, you address the issues that you think have gone wrong, and you do move on.
That’s why this is the best of three games. It gives you an opportunity to show consistency throughout a series. We have got a chance to do it … and we will brush ourselves off and we will brush ourselves off and we will be right.’’
Queensland will need to ponder how to contain James Maloney and Tom Trbojevic, who ran riot for NSW.
Maloney set up two tries, kicked five goals, and also shifted to halfback for the second half after an ankle injury to Nathan Cleary.
Centre Trbojevic, who recorded the first NSW hat-trick since 2005, was also dominant in his return for the Blues.
A record Optus Stadium crowd of 59,721 braved a first-half downpour for the first Origin game in Perth.
And the locals were entertained by a NSW masterclass sparked by two men absent for game one but were recalled under different circumstances.
Maloney was seemingly out of the Origin picture as late as last Sunday morning, when Mitchell Pearce was set to be recalled only to rule himself out with injury.
Trbojevic was two games back from a hamstring injury, and his first-half double gave Brad Fittler’s men an 18-6 half-time lead.
Back-to-back penalty goals took the advantage beyond two tries, before the Blues blew the game open with another two tries in the space of three minutes.
Trbojevic got his third when he finished off a 70-metre team effort in the 55th minute, and then Josh Addo-Carr got on the end of a Wade Graham grubber.
A string of six consecutive penalties meant a ragged Queensland could barely muster a punch in the second half.
Addo-Carr completed the big win with his second in the closing stages.
Trbojevic was a threat from the onset, getting over the line in the fourth minute only to be held up by desperate cover defence.
But he didn’t have to wait long to post the first points, roaming into the middle to chase a Maloney bomb and soar over Kalyn Ponga four minutes later.
Controversy marred Queensland’s response when referee Gerard Sutton ruled a penalty try for Will Chambers in the 14th minute.
The Maroons centre was chasing an early Ben Hunt grubber only to be impeded by counterpart Jack Wighton as the ball rolled dead.
The Blues regained the ascendancy after Tyson Frizell ran a good right-edge line to score, and the lead should have doubled when the Blues had a three-on-one opportunity.
Only Maloney threw his cutout pass to Addo-Carr forward.
However, NSW still took a 12-point lead into the sheds when James Tedesco rounded Michael Morgan and found Trbojevic supporting on the inside.
Maloney kicked the conversion after an ankle injury to Cleary, who tried to play through the pain but was substituted at half-time.
Maroons prop Jarrod Wallace was put on report for tackling the legs of Maloney while kicking in the 49th minute.
NSW captain Boyd Cordner said the consistency of effort was a pleasing result.
“We had to be up for the full 80 minutes. In Origin, when you get the momentum, you need to hold on to it and I thought our kick chase was outstanding tonight in our first three,” he said.
“So, look, we needed to come and win this game. We did that.
“Our focus is, you know, swapped to game three in Sydney. Can’t wait. In front of our home fans.
“We had a good turnout tonight, but there is nothing like running out in your home ground full of Blues.”
The deciding game will be playing at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on July 10.