Mauled Maroons in disarray after MCG massacre

Joel Gould |

A shell-shocked Queensland must find forward firepower and belief or face the embarrassment of losing the State of Origin series on home turf.

NSW’s stunning 38-18 win at the MCG was built on mongrel in the middle that Blues prop Payne Haas and lock Cameron Murray had in spades but Maroons duo Reuben Cotter and Lindsay Collins lacked.

The Maroons were stunned early in the match, but the forwards as a collective – so impressive in the past two series – were not up for the contest.

Haas ran for more than 190 metres, more than Collins and Cotter combined.

The sight of fullback Reece Walsh taking a forward-style hit-up from near his own line will no doubt be pointed out to the pack.

That reality will be a great cause of concern for coach Billy Slater, who will know only too well that playing game three at Suncorp Stadium will not be enough to get the Maroons home.

Queensland lost their mojo and belief during the MCG massacre.

Centre Valentine Holmes will be having nightmares about Latrell Mitchell, who outplayed him in every way.

When Holmes made a misread in the first half and Mitchell put Brian To’o over it appeared to put the entire Maroons right edge defence out of whack.

Queensland’s 38-10 win in game one against a 12-man NSW papered over cracks in their football.

Slater will have some big decisions to make ahead of the decider.

Recalling second-rower David Fifita is an obvious option to give the pack some much-needed oomph.

The size and power of North Queensland forward Heilum Luki, in the extended squad for game two, is another inclusion the Maroons should consider.

The return of Brisbane centre Selwyn Cobbo, so dominant in game one, would also offer Queensland additional clout.

The Maroons played dumb football, conceding penalties and six-agains with ill-discipline when they could least afford to.

The Blues’ 34-0 advantage at the break was the biggest first-half lead in Origin history.

It is a record the Maroons can only live down by responding with a complete reversal of the display they dished up in Melbourne.

Outplayed across the park, Queensland have plenty to prove in game three.