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Queensland Maroons vs NSW Blues, result, score, Billy Slater press conference, video, Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow injury update

A dejected Billy Slater admitted “the whole dressing room is pretty disappointed” following Queensland’s 38-18 loss to New South Wales at the MCG.

The Blues knocked the Maroons out of the park in the first half, racing to a 34-0 lead, the biggest in Origin history, after dominating possession to the tune of 68 per cent with an impressive 95 per cent completion rate.

While Queensland rallied in the second half to make the score a little less humiliating, it was simply too little, too late.

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“It was a tough first half,” Slater said in his post-match press conference.

“I felt like we were going uphill and we just couldn’t stop the momentum of the game.

“Some of that is up to us. We will analyze our game and determine what we need to adjust and what we need to pursue.”

Trying to remain optimistic, Slater added: “One thing I do know is that there will be another game in three weeks.”

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Slater called the first nine minutes of the match “a bit of a fight” but admitted that once Liam Martin crossed in the 10th minute, things started to unravel.

“NSW just had a snowball of possession and we held them off for a few sets and then they broke away and tried and it was all downhill from there,” he said.

“It’s a difficult game to play. It’s much harder when you’re tired. So, like I said, the situation snowballed against the team and we just couldn’t stop it.”

Queensland captain Daly Cherry-Evans echoed his coach, saying the game was “probably best described as a snowball”.

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“The rhythm changes. Yes, they were on top of us and we couldn’t keep up. We have to work a little,” she added.

“The origin is quite physical. This one probably felt more physical because of the run they had with momentum. We will learn a lot tonight.”

Slater, however, was able to take some positives from the second half. His team scored three tries and Cherry-Evans was involved in two of them and only conceded one try.

“I think the second half was pretty good,” he said.

“I thought our actions, the way we started the second half, we looked for our football a little more. We were patient. We were not looking for shortcuts to overcome the score.

“It’s really positive that the group recovered at half-time after the fuel tank they used and played football in the second half. “We don’t want to be in that position.”

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Queensland were in a similar position in 2022. After defeating NSW in the first game, they were humiliated 44-12 in the second game at Optus Stadium in Perth. They then won the decider 22-12 at home at Suncorp Stadium.

Cherry-Evans knows the teammates who were part of that 2022 experience would have learned a lot, but stated that “no two series are the same.”

He also assured Queenslanders that “there is still a lot of desire, regardless of tonight’s result. “We still love him more than ever.”

The 35-year-old admitted the third game at Suncorp on July 17 “can’t come fast enough” but said “we’ve just lost and we’ve got to deal with it and move on.”

Slater declined to talk about making changes to his team for Game 3. But he may be forced to make one in the centers after revealing the extent of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow’s injury.

“I think he has suffered an AC injury. “It was quite a difficult effort for him to play again, but he knew the team needed him.”

Tabuai-Fidow was injured during the first half and left the field. He returned after the break and finished the game.

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