Thurston hits out at Maroons 'dumb' play

Matt Encarnacion
Maroons legend Johnathan Thurston was critical of Queensland's second-half tactics in Sydney

One year after Andrew Johns labelled NSW 'dumb' for their State of Origin choke, Queensland champion Johnathan Thurston has done likewise on his beloved Maroons.

And Queensland coach Kevin Walters could only agree with the scathing assessment after the Blues claimed just their second Origin series win in 13 years with Sunday night's 18-14 game two triumph.

Thurston lashed out at the Maroons for failing to take full advantage of centre James Roberts' 69th minute sin binning that left NSW a man down, including a "brain explosion" from halfback Ben Hunt when his third tackle kick went dead.

"I'm a little bit dumbfounded by the way the Queenslanders played with 12 men on the field," Thurston told Channel Nine.

"A centre going off for 10 minutes, I don't think they targeted that edge much.

"The first set that they had Ben Hunt kicks it dead, 20-metre re-start. That's a brain explosion on the third tackle."

When told of Thurston's comments, a gutted Walters told Sky Sport Radio on Monday: "I don't disagree.

"Well not so much dumb (football) but we didn't expose that NSW right edge like we should have and they grew another leg when James Roberts did go off so they became very solid with their defence.

"It's not always easy at this level to get things right. We didn't come up with the right play at the right time for whatever reason."

Thurston's spray comes almost a year since Johns hit out at the Blues for refusing to target Thurston in the corresponding 2017 fixture when the Queensland No.7 busted his shoulder.

In what turned out to be his final Origin appearance, Thurston sent last year's series into a decider with a match-winning conversion from the sideline in the final minutes.

Thurston said Queensland's spine would have learnt a similar lesson on Sunday.

"I don't think that we targeted that edge enough. It's a massive learning curve for the halves and the hooker," he said.