NSW Blues fans seething over contentious Origin calls: 'What a joke'

League officials have come under fire from angry fans during the Maroons' Origin bloodbath against NSW.

From left to right, Maroons try scorers Valentine Holmes and Murray Taulagi against the NSW Blues.
The Maroons scored controversial tries against the NSW Blues through Valentine Holmes and Murray Taulagi in Origin Game II. Pic: Getty/Nine

Furious NSW Blues fans have taken to social media en masse to criticise the standard of the officials in Queensland's State of Origin series-clinching win against the Blues on Wednesday night. The Maroons retained the Origin shield after a convincing 32-6 win at Suncorp Stadium sealed the state's third Origin series win in the last four years.

It was a horror night for the Blues and coach Brad Fittler - who has likely coached his final game - with a game-ending pectoral injury to Tom Trbojevic occurring after just three minutes. Things went from bad to worse for the visitors after Queensland capitalised with two tries, both of which were highly questionable.

'WHAT A CLOWN: Origin fans explode over Reece Walsh's post-match act

'HAS TO GO': Brad Fittler crucified over 'appalling' Origin scenes

The first saw Valentine Holmes appear to knock the ball on in the in-goal after pouncing on a loose ball from a high kick. On-field referee Ashley Klein sent it up as a no-try and despite replays suggesting the Maroons centre bounced the ball instead of grounding it, the Bunker official awarded the try.

Blues fans were left absolutely seething later in the first half when Murray Taulagi crossed for the second try of the night after what appeared to be an obvious forward pass from David Fifita. The Maroons shifted the ball left and Fifita's pass looked like it came forward out of the hands of the big second-rower, but no call came from the touch judge and the Maroons were soon 10-0 up.

What had begun as a mountain to climb for the Blues to save the series, soon turned into Everest as NSW supporters took to social media in disgust. Even fans identifying as Maroons supporters suggested there was more than a hint of controversy for both tries, with the officials branded "pathetic" and a "disgrace" by seething viewers.

Blues coach Brad Fittler under pressure after big loss

The Blues enjoyed 64 per cent of territory but paid the price for a lack of polish as the Maroons ran in six tries to one, prompting calls for Fittler to stand down as coach. His decision to play Damien Cook out of position at centre to cover the injured Trbojevic was a particularly unpopular one, as was the absence of a utility player who can cover a number of backline positions, like Matt Burton, on the interchange

There was drama late though with Reece Walsh and Jarome Luai sent off for head-butting each other and Josh Addo-Carr sin-binned for a swinging arm on the Maroons fullback that both coaches were keen to play down. After the game, Fittler deflected talk about his future in the job and refused to analyse his interchange use or selections post-game.

"I spoke to Cookie about it, that could happen and I thought he did a great job," he said. "You can't cover every position.

Pictured left to right, NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler and hooker Damien Cook.
Brad Fittler's decision to play Damien Cook in the centres has been savaged by angry NSW Origin fans. Pic: Getty

"It would have been a bit more interesting if he (Trbojevic) was out there but you've got to hand it to their defence. Rarely did we look like we were going to break them."

Maroons coach Billy Slater praised his side's defence after only allowing the Blues to score once through Cook. Slater's men are now eyeing the first Origin clean sweep since 2010 in Sydney's dead-rubber.

"They're better than that too; they're just getting started," Slater said. "Proud is an understatement. I couldn't believe how proud I was (after game three in 2022), and they just keep raising the bar. The stats have been against this team for a long time, they just keep rising above it."

with AAP

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.