Battered Blues go back to basics in Origin

Scott Bailey
·2-min read

NSW will put an emphasis on completion rates in their must-win State of Origin clash in Sydney after their most error-riddled performance in more than a decade.

The Blues coughed up the ball 17 times in last week's series-opening loss to Queensland, a figure that has NSW coaching staff calling for a return to basics.

It was the most mistakes by either NSW or Queensland in an Origin match since the Blues' dark old days of Game II 2009, where they also made 17 handling errors.

It prompted a completion rate at 74 per cent, as they failed to reach a kick until the 12th minute - and even that was charged down.

"It seemed pretty obvious where we fell short. I feel like we've got answers and we can play better," Fittler said.

"We usually average about 90 per cent completions, we were about 75 or something like that.

"You just don't put much pressure on them. But in saying that, I thought they did a really good job."

Fittler's message will be simple a simple one heading into Wednesday night at ANZ Stadium.

The Blues had Sunday off but on Saturday did an hour of opposed play, with Jack Wighton training freely and without strapping.

There was a feeling both sides came out expecting play expansive football under the new rules before Queensland adapted better to a grind.

And Fittler doesn't want that to be the case again in Sydney.

"Sometimes you forget the most important things are pretty boring. It's a pretty dull game," Fittler said.

"It got away from just wanting to get involved real heavy grind (in Adelaide).

"Once the second half came, I just realised we hadn't taken enough energy out of them."

Blues players have also heeded the message.

It will also be drilled into them to play more direct, as they got their best purchase when they marched through the middle in the first half and late in the second.

"We knew how good we could play in Game I, it was just our execution we didn't do as best we could," new captain James Tedesco said.

"We know what we need to do different for Game II. That's pretty clear."