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Renouf: Origin shield still there to be won

Don't panic, Queensland.

The most important thing for Paul Green right now is how he handles this loss. It was a historic loss and no one likes to be a part of that, but Greeny just needs to forget about that and get to Brisbane with a clear head.

Already the media has started with all the jokes. Ignore it and trust your team.

It will be a different game in a couple of weeks and now you’ve seen NSW at their absolute best we know what it’s going to take to win this series.

Here are four key talking points to emerge from the match:

Papa and Ponga

Josh Papalii must come back for Origin II and if Kalyn Ponga is back to full fitness he needs to start at fullback.

Valentine Holmes did nothing wrong but Ponga offers a bit more in attack. Val should go back to the wing which means either Kyle Feldt or Xavier Coates would have to miss out.

Maroons v Blues

Feldt was solid on debut but I think they need to persist with Coates. We know what he can do, he just didn’t get the opportunity in Townsville.

We never set up properly for him and on the occasions we got a high ball across to him it wasn’t good enough. That is something we need to look at there.

Cam Munster was very critical of his game but when your team gets dominated like the Maroons it’s hard to get out of the rut.

Cam can’t be too hard on himself because sometimes games go that way and we know he is the type of player that can bounce back quickly.

Brakes on Turbo: DCE says Maroons must limit Tom's involvements

Lack of punch

We were outmuscled in the middle. They were quicker and rolling through us. Christian Welch was going well until he got knocked out of the match.

He is so important to our defence in the middle that we really need him for Origin II. We just got pressured out of our game once he went off.

Moeaki Fotuaika did well when he came on and was probably our best forward.

But it was a little bit lacklustre from the other forwards but that happens when the other side gets on top.

You could see what they were trying to do. They had David Fifita ready to go on that edge but they weren’t in position in the game to use him. All he got was dead balls and feeling of "here you go, just do your best". That’s not good enough.

Smart Freddy

Blues coach Brad Fittler came up with the perfect game plan. NSW outplayed the Maroons and you’ve got to hand it to them they were very, very good.

It helps when three of the best players in the game – Tom Trbojevic, Latrell Mitchell and Nathan Cleary – all play to their absolute potential.

I had hoped their centres would be a weakness having not played in those roles for some time, but it was their strength on the night.

The NSW forwards were very good and defensively as a team, they were amazing. Queensland peppered them but couldn’t get over the line.

The Blues' back five were massive. Over 1000m gained between them from almost 100 runs. They set the platform. The way they played actually made James Tedesco look like a normal player because the rest were just so good.

Dane Gagai didn’t have the energy we know him for after those days laid low by tonsillitis, but Freddy had a smart game plan to nullify his impact.

The Blues kicked mostly to Kyle Feldt, which meant Gagai couldn’t get back to take his strong runs from dummy half to get the set rolling.

Freddy obviously did a lot of homework, the players stuck to it and it paid off.

Fittler singles out Mitchell's best moments

Magic Mitchell

You talk about big moments in the game that made a difference, well that early break by Latrell from inside his own quarter opened it up for NSW and just put them on the front foot.

It totally reversed what was happening in the game and from then on they were able to turn defence into attack quickly.

From a personal point of view, it was good to see Latrell back in this arena and having a good game. Unfortunately, it was at the expense of Queensland.

He looked good with the ball, he was running freely and he showed just how much of a class player he is at centre.

Now that he’s got his confidence up at Origin level, he’s going to be hard to stop.

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