I didn't see that coming: Daley
Laurie Daley offered some, but New South Wales skipper Paul Gallen said there were no excuses for his side's 52-6 drubbing at the hands of the Maroons in the Holden State of Origin decider.
On the wrong end of the possession tally (70 percent to 30), a 12-5 penalty count, a 75 per cent completion rate and most importantly, the scoreboard, the Blues never looked in the contest as Queensland raced away to a record breaking 46-point victory at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
"I didn't see that coming," NSW coach Daley said. "We were never in it – we didn't start or play the way we would have liked to and it didn't get much better from there.
"It came down to possession – they had 43 sets and we had 24. Our completion rate was poor and too much pressure and too much defence told in the end.
"Possession in this type of footy is the key but we just didn't have enough of it.
"I thought there were some things that went against us and when you don't feel in control you can lose your way sometimes."
After finally snatching back the Origin shield from their ninth attempt in 2014, the Blues now find themselves staring back at the drawing board after having their record-breaking defeat.
The 46-point margin broke the previous margin set by the Blues in their 56-16 Origin III victory in 2000.
Despite some encouraging signs in recent years that the Blues were wrestling their way back to a level playing field with the all-conquering Maroons, Wednesday night's performance was a dramatic step back for NSW according to Daley.
"I don't think anyone expects 50 [points] to be put on you in Origin. It's not who we are – we've had a lot of steps forward over the past couple of years but tonight we took a couple of steps backwards," he said.
"We aren't back to square-one, but I didn't see that coming at all so obviously we've taken some steps backwards."
Not a player to mince his words, Gallen mentioned the possession factor in the post-match press conference, but refused to use it as an excuse for the heavy defeat.
"I'm in a bit of shock and we let ourselves down," said Gallen, who ran for 138 metres and made 39 tackles.
"As Laurie said we've taken a couple of steps forward in the past couple of years. Game One we probably should have won at home and Game Two we were dominant.
"Our training camp [leading into Origin III] was unbelievable. I found myself waking up on [game day] thinking to myself 'how do I encourage the boys because they've been so perfect', so to go out and play like that is not good enough for the Blue jumper.
"They were too good. Once they got some possession – momentum is really hard to stop in footy –and once you get the possession they had they ran hard and we struggled.
"There are absolutely no excuses."
Making matters worse for the Blues was a calf injury to Ryan Hoffman; forcing him off the field after 23 minutes, while Beau Scott, James Tamou and Trent Merrin face time on the sideline after being out on report during the lopsided contest.
Scott and Tamou are expected to miss one match with an early guilty plea, although the same cannot be said for Merrin who looks like missing at least four matches for a grade-two dangerous throw on Wally Lewis Medal winner Corey Parker.