Maroons legend Paul Vautin has been heard writing Queensland off for Game 3 after a humiliating loss in Game 2 on Sunday night in Brisbane.
The Blues cantered to a 26-0 win, setting a series of damning records in a combined 76-6 scoreline across the two games of the series.
Queensland legends, including Cameron Smith and Billy Slater were dismayed at seeing the Maroons break down in such ugly fashion with their attack melting down without any venom.
It was violently contrasting to the Blues’ own backline, with Blues legend Andrew Johns describing the NSW back five as the best NSW has ever produced.
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The experts were much more blunt in the Queensland dressing room.
Vautin was ready to call the series off while the Maroons players were still on the field at the end of Game 2 when he appeared to speak out of turn on the Channel 9 broadcast with his microphone cut seconds later.
Kurt Capewell was given the toughest job in rugby league.Source:Getty Images
“They may as well call off the third,” Vautin said as the broadcast returned to the studio inside Suncorp Stadium.
Vautin was just as scathing when he knew his microphone was on after the game, repeatedly singling out Queensland’s slow outside backs as the team’s biggest weakness.
“I think we are a slow and sluggish team,” he said.
“I really believe we just don’t have enough pace and we were gone after 10 minutes, so it makes you wonder.
“There was no punch at the line. People were just trotting into the line. It was very, very disappointing. Quite deflating to sit there and watch what they produced tonight.”
It was a nightmare for debutant Origin coach Paul Green.
There are already questions about his future after overseeing such a disaster.
While Smith said the first step for Queensland must be for the team to throw out Green’s gameplan, Vautin said even that may not be enough.
“On Queensland I’m not sure where they go to. I’m not sure they have a lot of other players to pick from,” he said.
“I hope Reece Walsh gets another chance and he is fit because he’s the sort of player they need. They lack spark.
Queensland is demanding answers.Source:News Corp Australia
“I think we’re lacking centres. (Kurt) Capewell got a bath again tonight. He did try hard. He tried really hard. Up against the best player in the game in Turbo (Tom Trbojevic), twice. Honestly, though, Turbo carved him up. He should be in the back row. We need to find some centres from somewhere, or make same.
“We’ve got no speed. There’s nothing.”
Maroons star Cameron Munster was the unstoppable hero in the 2020 series, but he and halfback Daly Cherry-Evans failed to find any way to trouble the NSW defence.
It’s why Smith said the Maroons should re-build their attack from scratch.
“For me, the Queenslanders need to go away now and they almost have to go away and find a new game plan. Really, they do,” he said.
“A new style of football, because the way they’ve played in the first two, they have struggled to score points, they need points in Game 3 to be able to beat NSW and where they find that, I’m not too sure right now.”
Game 3 is scheduled for July 14 at Stadium Australia, however, the NRL is considering moving the game as a result of Covid-19 restrictions.
Queensland will be boosted by the returns of hooker Harry Grant and fullback Kalyn Ponga – but the Maroons still look short of points even with the two stars coming back for the final game of the series.
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