Walters set to speak to referees ahead of Origin III
Maroons coach Kevin Walters will speak to the referees ahead of the final game of the State of the Origin series at Suncorp Stadium on July 11 after highlighting several calls that went against Queensland in game two in Sydney.
While speaking to the media in the wake of the Maroons team announcement he also unloaded on "idiots" on social media who had taken pot shots at his players after losing the series.
Walters provided a list of decisions that did not favour Queensland in the 18-14 loss in Sydney while defending his team's performances in the series to date.
The Maroons have only lost three series 3-0 in Origin history in 1986, 1996 and 2000.
After earlier losing game one 22-16, the Maroons have been far from disgraced and Walters said his team was determined not to become the fourth Queensland team to go down in history for losing 3-0.
"It's a big motivator for me and I am sure for the players it is the same. There has been very few whitewashes in Origin history but I know we can win game three after we were very close in game two," he said.
"People have been very critical of our side and our performance but we got beaten by two goal kicks [in game two]. We had a penalty try awarded against us for the first time in 36 years of Origin… a decision we took on the chin.
"There was the Dane Gagai no-try which there has been conjecture about after it was awarded a try on-field, and after seven or eight takes they found it to be a no-try.
"[Before] the Latrell Mitchell try James Maloney doesn't put his foot on the ball to play the ball and we have seen that [previously] penalised. If we can have a little bit of luck in game three, which we haven't had in the first two games, I believe we can give a really good account of ourselves and get a win up."
When asked whether he had raised the decisions that went against Queensland with officialdom, Walters said he would be.
"I will be speaking to the referees. I am not using it as an excuse but I am just pointing out there are certain things in certain games that haven't gone our way for whatever reason," Walters said.
"Being Queenslanders we will cop it on the chin... but if one of those goes our way we might have seen a different result. We'll make a different result with our actions on Wednesday week."
Queensland half Ben Hunt has been the target of keyboard warriors after his game two performance with several other players also coming under fire. Walters said Hunt's critics on social media were well wide of the mark.
"It is ridiculous some of the comments that have been bandied around about some of our players given the effort that has gone into this series," he said.
"All those idiots out there on social media are very brave behind the phone or keyboard. Sure we haven't won a game this year yet, but everyone can see the effort. The closeness of both games doesn't gel with the criticism the team has received, and certainly some individuals."
Walters said losing 101 games of Origin experience with the representative retirements of Johnathan Thurston, Cameron Smith and Cooper Cronk was always going to present an immense challenge for his side.
Walters has blooded Andrew McCullough, Jai Arrow, Felise Kaufusi and the injured Kalyn Ponga during the series and welcomed back Daly Cherry-Evans, Tim Glasby and Corey Oates for game three and said the future was not as bleak as some imagined.
"We have a lot to look forward to in the future without the big names that have graced the field for the past 12 or 13 years. It was always going to be a difficult time," he said.
"Origin is tough. It is hard to win one game and we have seen that this year. Our performances have been really good but they haven't been great. To win a game, you have to be great… and I am thinking it is coming Wednesday week."
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