Cleary cops loss as personal wake-up call

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Nathan Cleary has conceded he must take ownership of NSW's State of Origin loss, admitting he did not play well enough in Wednesday night's series opener.

The autopsy of the Blues' shock 16-10 loss went into overdrive on Thursday, with NSW needing to defy history to retain the Shield.

Only three times in Origin history have NSW come back from 1-0 down to win the series, having done so in 1994, 2005 and 2019.

Changes have already been called for, with former coach Laurie Daley arguing NSW need more spark off the bench in Game II instead of having Stephen Crichton at No.14.

Penrith hooker Apisai Koroisau looms as the most likely option, after Harry Grant's injection midway through the first half gave Queensland the advantage out of dummy-half.

Tariq Sims is also likely to find himself under pressure to keep his spot after missing four tackles in the second row, with Keaon Koloamatangi and Haumole Olakau'atu powerful options for an edge.

Centre Kotoni Staggs was also left nursing a shoulder injury, potentially opening the door for Latrell Mitchell to come back in his place if he has overcome his hamstring injury.

But Cleary has taken the loss personally.

He desperately missed his lock Isaah Yeo while he was off the field either side of halftime, as Queensland exerted serious pressure on his kicking game.

"I didn't play well enough and that affects the result," Cleary said.

"I think you have to (take losses personally), especially as a halfback and leader in the team.

"My performance can lift others around me. I wasn't good enough tonight.

"I definitely didn't play the way I wanted to.

"I can't change what happened out there, but I can change what I do leading into the next Origin and the next club game."

Cleary also conceded he had been outplayed by Queensland's spine, accepting he and halves partner Jarome Luai needed to pick when to play more direct.

Daly Cherry-Evans and Cameron Munster had double the runs of the pair, as Queensland beat the Blues with their quick speed through the middle.

The Blues playmaker's cause was not helped by their middle's woes in the ruck, with the Penrith pair given little chance to play on the front foot.

It was just the fifth loss from 69 games for Luai and Cleary, who started together in the halves at any level since under-20s days at Penrith.

And the NSW No.7 said it was a wake-up call he potentially needed.

"Sometimes it is a kick up the backside that I do need to be better," Cleary said.

"You never fully have the game worked out. When you think you're going alright a game like this happens.

"Sometimes it's not a bad thing. It's a reality check that I need to get better."

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