New South Wales legend Andrew Johns has let rip at the 'terrible' Blues attack and pinpointed one moment that showcased the team's lack of effort in the loss. The Maroons showed heart and determination in the final 20 minutes of Game I to score two tries with 12 men on the field to defeat the Blues 26-18 in Adelaide.
The Blues have a daunting task travelling to Suncorp and winning to keep the series alive, which is also likely to be a do-or-die game for coach Brad Fittler. And NRL icon Johns was left absolutely deflated after the match.
Queensland were clinical in attack throughout the match, which was the opposite of the Blues having dominated field possession for the majority. The Maroons were also down to 12 men for the remainder of the match after a dubious sin-bin.
After Game I, Channel Nine host James Bracey asked Johns - a diehard Blues legend who was infamously involved in an on-air blow-up last year - what went wrong for his state. And Johns pointed to one moment that showed a lack of effort in the loss after labelling the attack 'terrible'.
"The big one for me is when Lindsay Collins takes that ball and passes inside to Cameron Munster, he runs past five New South Wales players who didn't turn and chase," Johns said on Channel Nine. "The game was on the line. Collins runs past New South Wales defenders and Munster is there.
"You can't do with the game on the line. You cannot stop your legs moving. You have to keep moving just in case."
Johns admitted there could be a number of changes for the Blues with Latrell Mitchell a certainty to return in the centre role. However, Johns was adamant a change of attitude was needed to keep the series alive.
"The 17 that failed tonight have to go up to Queensland and win back the series...you have to embrace the challenge. Going up to Suncorp, giving it everything you've got," he added.
Brad Fittler bemoans final minutes of Origin Game I
Questions are going to be asked of Brad Fittler and his team with a number of Blues players not performing up to their lofty standards in the Origin arena. Nicho Hynes was kept on the bench for the majority of the game and was introduced as centre.
Many will be calling for the Sharks halfback to debut at five-eighth up in Queensland. Rabbitohs duo Campbell Graham and Damien Cook could also come into the reckoning as the Blues desperately search for a win to keep the series alive.
Brad Fittler's NSW side struggled for chemistry but they somehow grabbed a lead through a Stephen Crichton try with 10 minutes to go. "I was pretty excited, we had a bad start and we just kept going and got to the front...and from there it went downhill," Fittler said.
"The last 10 minutes when they were down to 12, we didn't handle that very well at all. "It felt like we had enough opportunities to adapt, and were a bit disappointed because we had a lot of good ball."
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