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History on Maroons' side as Blues seek MCG miracle

Payne Haas is refusing to give up hope that NSW can conjure a State of Origin miracle and halt Queensland's charge towards a third straight series.

The Blues' bid to begin the Michael Maguire era on a strong footing in Sydney came crashing down less than eight minutes into Wednesday night's series opener.

When Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii was sent off for his hit on Reece Walsh, the Maroons were nailed on to win and ran away with a 38-10 victory.

But Haas is taking solace from how the Blues kept in the fight right until the final quarter of an hour.

Payne Haas (centre).
Payne Haas (centre) believes NSW can bounce back and win game two of the State of Origin series. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

The Maroons took advantage of a tiring 12-man NSW defence, but Haas believes that at full strength the Blues can square the series in Melbourne on June 26.

"I thought we dug deep and I was proud of the boys' efforts," he said.

"There's a lot to work on to come back in game two and get the dub there and win in Queensland.

"(Even with 12 men) at times I felt we were on top, but at the end of the day we lost and Queensland got the win, which is all that matters."

The disappointing home defeat has left NSW with a mountain to climb and history working in Queensland's favour as Maguire looks to square the ledger.

The Blues have only come back from 1-0 down to win a series three times, and only in 1994 have they managed to do so with the final two fixtures on the road.

"It's been done before and that's the reality of it," said Isaah Yeo.

"How that looks … we're looking forward to the challenge and we've just got to win."

Even if the Blues do draw level at 1-1 in Melbourne, they have lost the past six deciders at Suncorp Stadium.

It is an ominous sign for NSW as Queensland look set to continue Billy Slater's near untouchable start to life as an Origin coach.

Slater has won the past two series, earning praise for how he has selected his team tactically and used his bench to devastating effect.

No more so was that evidenced on Wednesday than when Walsh went down inside the opening 10 minutes and the Maroons had the luxury of sending Selwyn Cobbo into the action.

Cobbo broke the game open with some trademark weaving runs and audacious flashes of skill.

But the concerning thing for NSW is they have yet to see Slater's master plan for sending the Brisbane Broncos ace into the action when the game is on the line.

The Maroons will be ready and prepared for whatever and whoever the Blues throw at them in Melbourne.

"We prepare for the unexpected and the unexpected happened," said Slater, who can emulate Arthur Beetson and Mal Meninga by securing his first three straight series in Melbourne.

"The team has adapted to adversity the last three years.

"The team has been accustomed to adapt to adversity. I thought Hammer (Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow) was great slipping back into that fullback position and everyone else.

"Selwyn plays (centre) weekly. He is prepared to play there."