Phil Gould drops truth bomb on NSW as Blues face daunting reality in State of Origin decider

History is firmly against the Blues as they look to stop the Maroons winning the Origin series.

Former Blues coach Phil Gould has warned NSW they still have one of the most daunting tasks ahead of them after setting up a State of Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium with a crushing 38-18 win in Game 2. Man of the match Mitchell Moses starred on his return to the Origin arena at the MCG on Wednesday night, setting up four tries in a commanding display highlighted by 34 unanswered points for the Blues in the first 40 minutes - the most dominant half in Origin history.

The win for NSW sets up a mouthwatering decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 17, where more history awaits the Blues players, who have an opportunity to cement a place in Origin folklore. Michael Maguire's NSW side has the chance to become just the third Blues team in history to win a series decider in Brisbane, with the 1994 and 2005 teams the only ones to manage the momentous feat since the Origin series began 44 years ago.

Phil Gould has issued the Blues with a warning about the State of Origin decider in Brisbane after the emphatic win in Game 2. Pic: Getty
Phil Gould has issued the Blues with a warning about the State of Origin decider in Brisbane after the emphatic win in Game 2. Pic: Getty

NSW will face one of the most daunting tasks in rugby league as they look to stop the Maroons winning a third straight series in front of their fiercely parochial home fans and with the entire state of Queensland behind them. And Gould warned the Blues that regardless of how good their performance was in Game 2, it will count for nothing if they can't go up to Queensland and claim the Origin shield with another victory.

"What I will say is, regardless of what's happened in Game 1 or 2, it's a completely different animal when we get to Queensland for a decider," Gould said on Nine's coverage. "Both sides and certainly NSW need to be wary about coming off the back of this and expecting to roll into game three and do the same, because it won't be.

"The decider in Queensland has been NSW's Achilles heel for four decades and it's a hurdle they've got to get over." The Blues came close to winning a decider at Suncorp Stadium just two years ago but a late Ben Hunt try extended the Maroons' Origin stranglehold over NSW at their spiritual home.

Speaking after his side's emphatic win in Game 2 on Wednesday night, Maguire insisted he and the Blues players were unconcerned about their record at Suncorp Stadium and that history is firmly against them. The chance to become Origin legends should be a huge motivation for the Blues squad, but Maguire says they have to approach the game like any other and bring the same energy from Game 2 to finish the job in Brisbane.

"One thing about this group is they don't really look into any of that," Maguire said about the Blues' Suncorp Stadium record. "They just work hard on helping each other out and working for each other. Wherever you go and play, you've got to play and this group, they're looking internally rather than looking externally.

"At the end of the day, it's the same field you have got to play and they found their game tonight. It can be done," he added the possibility of a comeback series triumph. "If this group gets together like they did for this game, there's no reason why things can't happen."

Billy Slater's Maroons never got going at the MCG and were blown off the park in the first half as NSW essentially wrapped up victory in the opening 40 minutes. Fullback Reece Walsh was particularly quiet for the Maroons and Slater may have to ponder changes to deal with the threat of NSW's dominant forward pack, with Titans superstar David Fifita surely coming into calculations for Game 3.


The Maroons also have an injury headache around star centre Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow, who maintained his record of scoring a try in every Origin match he's played in, but was forced from the field after a first half shoulder injury. Tabuai-Fidow left the field in the 24th minute but returned with padding on his shoulder to score his ninth Origin try in six games, with Slater revealing after the game that the Hammer looked to have suffered an AC injury.

Seen here, Maroons coach Billy Slater and his players during State of Origin 2.
Maroons coach Billy Slater has some big decisions to make for State of Origin Game 3 after his side was thrashed at the MCG. Pic: Getty

The Maroons coach refused to rule out changes for Game 3 but will surely be buoyed by his side's record at home in Queensland, despite admitting they were shattered after the huge defeat at the MCG. "I think the whole dressing room in there is pretty disappointed. It was a tough old first half," Slater said.

"It felt like we couldn't stop the momentum of the game. Part of that is on us. We will look at our game and work out what we need to adjust and what we need to go after. One thing I do know is that there is another game in three weeks. I thought our start was OK. We held them out for a few sets and then they broke and got a try and it was all downhill from there."

with agencies