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Qld not on mission impossible in Origin 2

Fullback Billy Slater says Queensland face a big challenge to level the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium with NSW heading north high on confidence after their 14-6 opening game win on Wednesday night.
Qld not on mission impossible in Origin 2
by AAP

By Wayne Heming

SYDNEY, June 6 AAP - Fullback Billy Slater says Queensland face a big challenge to level the State of Origin series at Suncorp Stadium with NSW heading north high on confidence after their 14-6 opening game win on Wednesday night.

"It will be a big challenge, but certainly not an impossible one," said the Melbourne Storm custodian.

Slater conceded NSW clearly outplayed and out-enthused the Maroons in the first half, an area coach Mal Meninga and Queensland's selectors will address before the return game on June 26 which is already a sell out.

"It's always tough to lose an Origin," said Slater.

"They got the jump on us in the first half, came up with a few tries and put us on the back foot.

Slater's opposite Jarryd Hayne continued to show what a wonderful talent he is, scoring the Blues' opening try off an inside play Slater runs better than any player.

"Nobody's got any copyright on that move," said Slater.

"He (Hayne) was a big part of why they went well. He brought the ball back strong, got their sets off to a good start and added a bit of spark when they got into the attacking zone."

Asked if Queensland would forget NSW captain Paul Gallen hanging a couple of punches on Maroon forward Nate Myles which triggered a brawl just before half time, Slater said: "we won't forget anything" -- especially the feeling we're experiencing after the loss ..."

He defended a decision to play North Queensland five-eighth Johnathan Thurston who clearly gambled on carrying a groin injury into the clash which restricted his play-making abilities.

"(We backed him) One hundred per cent. He's the best half in the world and you always want him on your side," he said.

"I don't think he was on his own out there."

Slater said Queensland didn't do anything well.

"We didn't get forward, we didn't play straight and the guys off the ball didn't do enough to support the ball carrier," he said.

"All that snowballs into poor attack."

Queensland selectors will most likely look at injecting some aggression into the forwards with Brisbane prop Ben Hannant returning from a calf injury this weekend and Josh Papalii, who was their 18th man for game one, likely to come into contention for game two.

History shows the winner of game one has gone on to take the series 23 times from 29.

While Slater said Queensland would have the crowd behind them at Suncorp, they would need to improve dramatically on their first 40 minutes on Wednesday night to save the series.


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