‘The win was that emphatic’: Brandy praises Blues centres after Game II mauling
After giving Queensland a public flogging over in the west, New South Wales will head into the State of Origin decider as short-priced favourites in hope of becoming the first Blues side to win back-to-back series since 2005.
The Maroons suffered their second biggest loss in Origin history, and it marks an impressive turnaround for the Blues who were subjected to a barrage of criticism after losing Game 1 at Suncorp Stadium.
Blues coaching advisor Greg ‘Brandy’ Alexander has told David Morrow and Mathew Thompson the Blues had a great camp despite what was said in the press.
“After being beaten by 4 points in Game 1 I thought a lot of that commentary was way over the top, but that’s what Origin does, it invokes opinion and sometimes I thought that opinion got a little personal, a little skewed, but I think everyone in the camp knew what they had to to do when they got on the field,”
If Origin is about effort, then Blues centres Tom Trbojevic and Jack Wighton proved their suitability to play at this level. Much was made of Freddy Fittler’s controversial decision to drop star centre Latrell Walker and regardless of whether it was the right or wrong call, the results speak for themselves.
“The two centres travelled did more work than any other players on the field, which is quite extraordinary really because that normally falls to the hooker or fullback,” Brandy said.
“That’s what we needed, we needed players to put themselves in a position to receive the footy and that’s what Jack and Tom did all night,
“When Queensland kicked the ball, our centres got back in position and presented the halves with options.”
New South Wales’ superior work rate was notable, with Queensland recording just 989 running metres to New South Wales’s 1736.
Spearheading this was veteran five-eighth James Maloney, who moved into the number 7 position after Nathan Clearly succumbed to an ankle injury, and Brandy is full of praise for the vocal leader.
“James Maloney, it doesn’t matter whether he wears 7 or 6, he’s a dominant half and he was terrific for us in the lead-up and also on the field,” he said.
“He’s just a calm head, and when we decided that Jimmy was going the be the five-eighth I felt a level of calmness that I hadn’t felt, and what he did to me he did to other players as well because that’s the effect he can have on players around him.
“The win was that emphatic, and things did work well.”
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